DEFENDING CHAMP STORMY LIBERAL PREVAILS
IN BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Stormy Liberal prevailed by a neck over favored World of Trouble after a stretch-long duel to win the 11th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Winner of this race last year at Del Mar, Stormy Liberal joins Mizdirection (2012-13) as the only repeat winner of the race.
Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Stormy Liberal covered the 5 ½ furlongs on a turf course rated as good in 1:04.05. For Van Dyke, it is his first Breeders’ Cup victory and the third for Miller.
Bred in Kentucky, Stormy Liberal is a 6-year-old gelded son of Stormy Atlantic out of the Royal Academy mare Vassar.
World of Trouble assumed the lead after a quarter mile with Richard’s Boy in closest pursuit and Stormy Liberal fourth and in the clear. On the far turn, Van Dyke moved after the leader and two hooked up at the top of the lane and dueled to the wire with Stormy Liberal easing clear in the final yards.
It was another 7 ¼ lengths back to Disco Partner in third.
Winning trainer Peter Miller (Stormy Liberal) – “The emotions and the highs and lows I have gone through in this game in the past year are indescribable. I am just thankful to be back here. It is amazing to win this race two years in a row with this horse. It is a dream come true.”
Winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke Stormy Liberal) – “He broke really sharp. I knew there were a few who were going to be a little bit faster than me. I bided my time and let them get by me, then just tipped him outside. From there on, it was up to him to do the running. Stormy Liberal likes to hang on horses and not pass them, but he got him. It was awesome.”
Second-place trainer Jason Servis (World of Trouble, beaten favorite) –“He ran really hard and he tried. He’s a 3-year old. He’ll get better.”
Second-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (World of Trouble, beaten favorite) –“He had no excuse. He just got beat by a nice horse. He wanted to fight, but he lugged in a little bit so I wanted to be close to Stormy Liberal so he could feel (the competition). No excuse.”
Third-place jockey Joel Rosario (Disco Partner) – “He broke well and then took a little bit of time to find his stride. It looks like the turf was a little soft for him, but he came with a late run in the end. They got away, so it was hard to catch up.”
Jockey P J McDonald (Havana Gray, 12th) – “The first half of the race went great. I had a really good position, but they forced me to the inside. They went really quick. Turning for home, I knew we were beaten.”