Stormy's Majesty Makes Debut
STORMY'S MAJESTY MAKES 4YO DEBUT
There appears to be depth at the top end of the New York-bred handicap division this year. Obviously, Haynesfield remains the measuring stick, based on his victory over Blame in last fall's Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Then there's Inherit the Gold, who won five straight races, including the Grade 3 Excelsior, and Icabad Crane, a winner of two New York-bred stakes over the inner track.
Friday, the New York-bred handicap division welcomes Stormy's Majesty, who makes his 4-year-old debut in the $60,000 Noble Nashua Stakes for New York-breds going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct.
Stormy's Majesty has won 5 of 9 starts, including the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap against open company last fall at Aqueduct and the Albany Stakes against statebreds at Saratoga last summer. Stormy's Majesty came within a head of winning the Queens County Stakes last Dec. 11 before getting a winter break at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Dominic Galluscio was hoping to get Stormy's Majesty to the Excelsior on April 2 at Aqueduct, but the horse missed a little bit of training time due to a bruised foot. He returned to New York in late March and has fired two bullet workouts over Belmont's main track in preparation for his return.
'He's training very well, we got to get started, this looks like a nice spot,’ Galluscio said Wednesday. 'He's run very well fresh. I think he's even going to get better with racing. I'm looking forward to a big effort.’
As a 2-year-old, Stormy's Majesty won his debut by 2 1/4 lengths going six furlongs over the inner track. He also came off a five-month layoff to win a second-level New York-bred allowance race by 8 3/4 lengths going a mile last June 4 at Belmont.
As a graded stakes winner, Stormy's Majesty has to carry 124 pounds, spotting the rest of the field seven pounds.
Galluscio is also bringing Johannesburg Smile back to the races off a 7 1/2-month layoff. He too won a second-level allowance going a mile at Belmont and finished third in both the New York Derby and Albany. He has not run since finishing second to subsequent stakes winner Yankee Fourtune in a first-level open company turf allowance race last September.
'He had a couple of issues, but he's training very well,’ Galluscio said. 'I'd like to split them up but they both got ready at the same time.’
Johannesburg Smile could play out as the primary speed in the race while Stormy's Majesty tracks him. Joe Corrigan and Slevin, both coming off wins, are dangerous. Mine Over Matter, Six Flings, and Spa City Fever complete the field.
by David Grening