SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Get Stormy swept the two major turf stakes for males, the Grade 2 Fourstardave and Bernard Baruch handicaps, during the 2010 Saratoga meeting. His chances to repeat that feat this summer were foiled by a minor tendon issue that popped up just days before the Fourstardave, but Get Stormy is healthy once again and will be heavily favored -- despite carrying high weight of 122 pounds -- to defend his title against 10 rivals in Friday's nine-furlong Bernard Baruch.
Get Stormy's untimely injury not only forced him to miss a race, it also prevented his much-anticipated match with Sidney's Candy in the Fourstardave. Sidney's Candy ultimately posted a popular 1 1/4-length triumph after being allowed to set a pedestrian pace due in large part to Get Stormy's absence.
Trainer Tom Bush said he had Get Stormy in "light training" for about 10 days after discovering the tendon issue, but he's gotten two five-furlong works under his star in preparation for the Bernard Baruch. Get Stormy won the Grade 1 Maker's Mark at Keeneland and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs during the spring, but has not started since finishing third as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Monmouth Stakes on June 12.
"The fact he missed his last race probably won't be an issue on Friday," said Bush, who trains Get Stormy for the Sullimar Stable. "He was ready to run on July 31, and I don't see why he wouldn't be ready to run on Aug. 26. Whenever you start and have to stop on them like we did, it always concerns you, but he'll have no excuses going in here."
The five horses who finished directly behind Sidney's Candy in the Fourstardave, Moryba (second), Beau Choix (third), Blues Street (fourth), Turallure (fifth), and Paris Vegas (sixth), will all return for the 1 1/8-mile Bernard Baruch.
"It's basically the same field as the last one, minus the best horse," said Bush, referring to Sidney's Candy. "And I'm certainly happy to hear that they decided to run him back on dirt."
The 2010 Bernard Baruch was contested on the inner turf course with the temporary rail down, but this year the race is carded over the Mellon course and, according to Bush, will be decided with the rails up.
"They told me they are going to run this race on the Mellon with the rail out, and that bothers me," Bush said. "It probably won't make a difference, but you'd think they'd want to see the best horses, which you have in Grade 1 and Grade 2 races at Saratoga, run on the very best ground and that's not the case if they run this race with the rail out."
Moryba attended Sidney's Candy from start to finish second in the Fourstardave, outlasting Beau Choix by a half-length to earn a graded stakes placing for the second time in his five-race U.S. career. Moryba was a Group 1 winner in his native Brazil last summer.
Interaction, who finished eighth making his U.S. debut in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 9, figures to improve off the effort and press Get Stormy from the outset Friday. Like Moryba, Interaction also was a Group 1 winner in South America earlier in his career.