Bay Storm Ships In For Megahertz In Pursuit Of First Graded Win, To Take On D’Amato Trio – Horse Racing News


Bay Storm, ridden by Jaime Rodriguez, wins the Incredible Revenge Stakes at Monmouth Park

Trainer Jonathan Thomas makes a rare foray to Santa Anita when he sends out Bay Storm from south Florida in search of a first graded stakes win in Saturday’s $100,000 Megahertz Stakes (G3)  going a mile on turf.

Owned by Bridlewood Farm, Bay Storm won a black-type stakes sprinting on turf at Monmouth Park in August and has since gone on to hit the board in a pair of Grade 3s: In the Ladies Sprint Stakes at Kentucky Downs in September, Bay Storm was prominent throughout before getting nipped by a nose at 13-1. Then after a brief freshening, Bay Storm was stretched out to a mile for her return Dec. 31 in the Suwanee River at Gulfstream Park. The 5-year-old Kantharos mare set the pace into the stretch but yielded in the final furlong to finish third.

Bay Storm will be ridden by John Velazquez in her Santa Anita debut.

Among the local hopes Bay Storm will have to contend in an eight-horse field is a trio for trainer Phil D’Amato: School Dance, Hamwood Flier, and Oakhurst.

School Dance made her first seven starts at Gulfstream Park for trainer Joe Orseno before being transferred to D’Amato last summer. She won her first two starts in Southern California, including an allowance at Del Mar last November, before stepping up to the American Oaks (G1) on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita. In the American Oaks going 1 ¼ miles, School Dance pressed the pace in second, seized a narrow lead at the eighth pole but was then rundown by stablemate Rhea Moon to lose by a head.

A 4-year-old filly by Animal Kingdom, School Dance is owned by Agave Racing Stable and Rockin Robin Racing Stable. She will be ridden by Ramon Vazquez, who has been aboard for all three of her previous starts in California.

Hamwood Flier won the restricted Swingtime Stakes at a mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 9. The 5-year-old Irish-bred returned in the Grade I Matriarch going a mile at Del Mar on Dec. 4. She set the pace in that effort and led into the midstretch but proved no match when Regal Glory uncorked a scintillating turn of foot to win going away.

Hamwood Flier is owned by Rockingham Ranch and Talla Racing. In the Megahertz, she will be ridden for the first time by Santa Anita’s current leading rider, Juan Hernandez.

Little Red Feather Racing’s Oakhurst is also exiting the American Oaks. In what was her first start for D’Amato, Oakhurst rallied to be fourth beaten only a length. The 4-year-old Mr Speaker filly gets top rider Flavien Prat in the irons for the Megahertz.

The field for the Megahertz (G3) in post-position order with jockey and weight:

  1. Bay Storm – John Velazquez – 120
  2. Hamwood Flier – Juan Hernandez – 122
  3. Nadette – Umberto Rispoli – 122
  4. Closing Remarks – Joe Bravo – 122
  5. One Silk Stoking – Lanfranco Dettori – 120
  6. School Dance – Ramon Vazquez – 120
  7. Quattroelle – Hector Berrios – 122Oakhurst – Flavien Prat – 120

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