Data Link and Get
Stormy last met in the Grade 1 $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at
Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day and they are scheduled to clash again in
Sunday’s Grade 2 $200,000 Monmouth Stakes when they take on a field that
includes two past winners of the 1 1/8 mile test on the turf.
Get Serious, the winner in 2010, and
Presious Passion, who took top honors in 2009, are stabled on the grounds and
among the seven horses scheduled to go postward.
Get Stormy, a 6-year-old horse who
competed in the 2010 and 2011 Breeders’ Cup Mile, is a late bloomer for trainer
Tom Bush. The multiple grade 1 winner has finished first in 11 of 29 starts and
all of them have been on the grass. He handles any kind of footing and had a
sensational 2011 campaign, taking the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark at Keeneland and the
Grade 1Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in consecutive starts. This year, he was
fourth in the renamed Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes and faded to ninth in the Woodford
Reserve while competing against Data Link in both of those efforts.
Data Link, a 4-year-old Stuart
Janney III homebred, rallied from far back to win the Maker’s 46 Mile by a neck
this year and then the Shug McGaughey-trainee was a well beaten fifth in the
Woodford Reserve after a troubled trip.
Roman Tiger, Mahubo, Freud’s Honour,
and Yummy With Butter are the other locally-based horses expected to line up in
the starting gate. Mahubo is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and was a determined
winner of the Three Coins Up Stakes last out at Aqueduct on April 13 on the
grass. He’ll be stretching out from a mile and a sixteenth on Sunday.
“This is going to be a tough spot
for him, but Kiaran thinks it’s time for him to step up and time to show what
he can do and see how he likes the distance,” said Andrew St. Lawrence, who
runs McLaughlin’s division here.
Mahubo, a 6-year-old South
African-bred, raced in his native country, Dubai
and England for Mrs.
Fitriani Hay before coming to the United States in the fall last