In her possible career finale, `Stormy' picks up a victory

Perkins-trained filly faces likely sale at Keeneland

Horse Racing

October 07, 2001|By Pete Bielski | Pete Bielski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Ben Perkins said he has no plans for his talented filly Stormy Pick, which is unusual for a trainer speaking in the winner's circle following a $100,000 stakes race.

But Perkins is in an unusual position. Yesterday's $100,000 Stormy Blues Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico may have been the final race for his productive daughter of Storm Creek.

The filly is being sent to a Keeneland sale next month, where owner Raymond Dweck figues to fetch a bit more than the $130,000 he paid for Stormy Pick as a yearling in Florida two years ago.

"It's part of the business," he said. "Mr. Dweck is very fair when it comes to these kind of things and she'll be worth a lot of money as a broodmare. She may even race a bit more."

She raced yesterday. In the four-horse Stormy Blues, Stormy Pick displayed speed she hasn't shown for months. But with only three other foes, jockey Rick Wilson said position was a more important factor than pace. So, from the inside post, Wilson decided to hustle his mount to the front.

"With the inside, I thought it would be best to get some good early position," said Wilson. "That's about how it worked out."

As the horses rounded the run into the stretch, Wilson and Stormy Pick surged away from their early foes and opened up by four lengths. Long shot Outstanding Info rallied late to gain second, as Skip the Print was third and Kimbralata faded to last. Stormy Pick paid $3.40 and sparked a generous $30.80 exacta. She has won seven of 14 races, including five stakes. Her earnings stand at $445,000.

Stormy Pick was purchased in Ocala, Fla., and thrived in Perkins' regular agenda of working hard as a 2-year-old. She won a pair of graded stakes last summer, including a Grade I race at Saratoga.

She made a start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, but faltered in the 1 1/16-mile race. Since last November, Perkins has kept his hard-working filly in nothing but sprints. She won three of seven this year, though none in graded company. If he loses this one now, he said he won't be disappointed.

Still, in the event the filly doesn't bring the minimum asking price, there is always the chance that Stormy Pick will return to the Perkins barn, which brings a smile to Perkins' face.

"You know," he said. "She looks like she'd be the perfect kind of horse for the Barbara Fritchie ... "

The Fritchie is the Grade II sprint for fillies held at Laurel in March.

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