stablemate until inside the half-mile pole, Majesty Stud’s Stormy’s Majesty took
command at the top of the lane and then held on against a determined drive by
favored Ibboyee to capture the $100,000 Albany
for New York-bred 3-year-olds Wednesday at Saratoga.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Edgar
Prado for trainer Dominic Galluscio, the homebred chestnut son of Stormy
Atlantic took the 1 1/8th-mile dirt race in a time of 1:50.55. The
winner paid $5.50 for a $2 win bet as the second choice behind Ibboyee.
Galluscio’s other entrant, Johannesburg Smile, finished third in the field of
The victory was the fourth in
five starts for Stormy’s Majesty – all in state-bred company – with the lone
loss being a last-place finish in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy just prior to the
“Last time out, he broke and was
right there on a faster pace, and he didn’t like that much,” Prado said after
the race. “Today he went a bit more freely and
was doing everything very relaxed.”
Under Javier Castellano,
Johannesburg Smile broke sharply from post position 5 and raced outside Stormy’s
Majesty through a quarter-mile in 23.79 seconds as Ibboyee, trained by Todd
Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, raced fourth.
After six furlongs in 1:12.11,
Stormy’s Majesty took over with Velazquez pulling Ibboyee off the rail and
setting him down for a long drive that fell a neck short at the wire.
“I rode hard and didn’t get
there; that’s the bad part,” Velazquez said. “I had no choice but start asking
him early because we were trapped on the inside the whole way. So at the
top of the stretch I started hitting him left handed and he was running but he
started drifting out at the same time. I didn’t want to take the chance of
slowing him down and trying to correct him, so I just kept him going
Galluscio sweated it out through
the late stages of the race.
“The stretch run seemed to take
forever,” he said. “I was surprised Stormy was that close; I expected
Johannesburg Smile to be on the lead. He ran very game. I might have tried
Stormy too prematurely against open company [in the Jim Dandy]. We’ll see how he
comes out of this before we decide on his next start.”
With the $60,000 first-place
money, Stormy’s Majesty has now earned $138,932 in his career.