Jockey Tyler Gaffalione guides Got Stormy to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Grade I, $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, Sunday, December 1, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.


What exactly is the definition of a perfect storm? Is it a powerful thunder boomer that blows in at dusty dark and helps you sleep better? Maybe it’s a blanketing snow storm that starts in the wee hours and allows you to awaken to a winter wonderland. Or, perhaps, it’s a freakishly fast four-legged female that struck like lightning in 2019.

With the books about to be closed on another fabulous year in the Thoroughbred racing game, Got Stormy has been one of the stars without question. Residing in the barn of Mark Casse, this four-year old daughter of Get Stormy has turned in a fabulous season. Eight starts yielded four wins, three seconds, and a third place finish. Only four and a half lengths from being unbeaten this year, she’s ran at seven different tracks and caused the storm sirens to sound every time.

“She’s been everywhere and showed up every time,” says Casse. “To be able to ship around and do the things she has done says a lot about her quality. All the challenges she has faced in shipping and training is something nobody knows about. If people knew about all the little things she would be held in even higher regard.”

Even though Got Stormy was more than a cloudburst every time out, there were two runs in particular that called in the national weather service. Both were grade 1 races that saw the Gary Barber owned Kentucky-bred strike with awesome power.

First was the Fourstardave at Saratoga on August 10. Exercising extreme confidence in his runner, Casse sent his girl to post against male runners after winning a stakes race over the same course just a week earlier. Got Stormy blew in like a category 5 hurricane and destroyed an accomplished field. Winning by 2 ½ lengths and establishing a track record (1:32), she rewarded her trainer for what turned out to be an expert forecast.

“I’m surprised more people have not been completely wowed by her performance in the Fourstardave,” says Casse. “I think it was the highest Beyer speed figure for a female horse this year and she destroyed the track record. And to do it on seven days rest really says a lot about her.”

The final start of the year on December 1 was another showcase for Got Stormy. Running in the grade 1 Matriarch to close out the Bing Crosby meet at Del Mar, Casse saw this as a chance to ice the cake on what was already a tremendous season. Running on the firm turf of the Jimmy Durante turf course against a very talented crop of females, lightning struck once again.

Breaking alertly and assuming her stalking position under jockey Tyler Gafflione, Stormy unleashed her powerful turn of foot down the stretch. Rolling to the lead inside the final furlong with a near perfect move, she thundered to another impressive win.

“We felt like she deserved one more run to prove her worth,” says Casse. “The race came up very tough and she ran extremely well, like she always does. This was a great way to cap off what we think was an award-winning year.”

The Doppler radar has not determined where Got Stormy will next surface. But the weather history for 2019 tells us this magnificent granddaughter of Malabar Gold banked over $1.1 million while lighting up the skies and the tote board.

“We are going to give her a little time off while we think about 2020,” says a jubilant Casse. “I give a lot of the credit to Gary Barber for letting us campaign her the way we did. He’s had a great year in the sport and Get Stormy was certainly part of it.”

Maybe the storm chasers should consult Mark Casse when looking for the definition of a perfect Storm.