Friday, April 03, 2009

Stormalory Rallies From Last To Win Central Bank Transylvania

Lexington, Ky. (April 3, 2009)—Stormalory rallied from next to last with a quarter mile remaining to score a narrow victory in the $150,000, Grade 3 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes as Keeneland began its 15-day spring meeting Friday.

The son of Storm Cat caught Florentino (JPN) inside the sixteenth pole and then held off Smart Bid to win the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds. He gave trainer Bill Mott his 30th career stakes victory at Keeneland.

Stormalory ran the distance in 1:45.73 over the grass course softened by overnight rain and posted his third win in nine career starts for Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Darley Stable.

A neck separated Stormalory and Smart Bid at the finish with Florentino another length back in third place. The winner was ridden by Julien Leparoux and paid $5.40 as the 17-10 favorite in the eight-horse field.

“When I went out, I asked him and he gave a good kick,” said Leparoux. “He won nicely today. I was confident before the race. I felt like I had a very good chance, so I was riding quiet behind.”

Stormalory had finished third in the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) on the turf less than three weeks ago at Gulfstream Park. With Friday’s victory, he increased his career earnings to $179,541 with the winner’s purse of $93,000.

“His races have become very consistent since we put him on the grass, and he’s put in some very good efforts for us,” said Mott, who was winning the Transylvania for the fourth time.

Mott said that Stormalory may start next in the Crown Royal American Turf (G3) on May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Attendance for Friday’s opening day program totaled 14,764.

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