Casse waiting on ideal conditions for Got Stormy

Casse waiting on ideal conditions for Got Stormy
Photo: Elsa Lorieul/NYRA
When Mark Casse looked at the turf at Belmont Park last week ahead of Got Stormy’s scheduled appearance in the Just a Game (G1), he didn’t like what he saw.

“She prefers hard, fast turf,” Casse said. “Anytime we’ve tried anything less than that it’s spotty, so when they ran the six race and they ran 7/8's in [1 minute] 24 or 24 and 1, I said ‘that’s not the turf course we’re looking for.’ And obviously it was a very tough race, and if we’re gonna try those fillies, we’re gonna try them when we’re on our best ground.”

The 5-year-old daughter of Get Stormy is probable for Belmont's Poker (G3) on Saturday, but Casse said he would scratch again if the ground wasn’t to his liking.

“I’m bound and determined to find her a hard turf,” Casse said. “You just look at when she did her best work, like in the Fourstardave, how fast the turf was. She likes it hard. She’s a miler, and that’s when everything is to her liking. If there’s any give in the ground she struggles to get past the mile.”
Casse also provided updates on other horses in his barn. Another probable for this weekend is Sir Winston. The 4-year-old winner of the 2019 Belmont Stakes is set to go in the Suburban Handicap (G2). For the son of Awesome Again, a strong pace will be a necessity in the hunt for his first victory since January.

“He needs pace,” Casse said. “I said prior to his last race, I felt like we were up against it before the race started. There was no speed in the race.”

Casse said he hopes the colt will peak against some of the better older horses in the country this year.

“Number one goal would be trying to make the Breeders’ Cup,” Casse said. “Still haven’t decided exactly how we get there because there’s still moving targets. Nothing is the same this year, and races are changing and things are changing so we’re kind of just taking it one race at a time right now.”

Following a sixth-place finish in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in May, Casse plans to run War of Will in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland on July 10. The immediate future plans are less certain for Perfect Alibi, the 3-year old filly who most recently finished fifth in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont Park.

“I had hoped to have one or two races prior to the Acorn,” Casse said “That didn’t happen, obviously, because of everything going on in the world. Not a spot you want to come back in, but you got to start somewhere. … I have no doubt she’s a better horse then you saw in the Acorn.”

New to Casse’s care is Kingly, who he took over from Bob Baffert about two months ago. Casse said his priority right now is getting the 4-year-old son of Tapit back into shape. The colt’s last race was an eighth-place finish in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in March.

“He’s still a little bit away,” Casse said. “He’s just getting ready to start breezing a little, so I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet.”

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