TORONTO, October 24, 2019 – It’s the calm before the Breeders’ Cup storm. With just over a week to go until the Breeders’ Cup Championships, Ricoh Woodbine Mile hero El Tormenta is readying to go the extra mile, making his final preparations for his local connections at Woodbine.
Bred in Ontario by owner Sam-Son Farm, the four-year-old gelding pulled off the biggest upset in the history of the million-dollar Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile besting the Mark Casse-trained filly Got Stormy by a half-length and earning his way into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile, set for November 2 at Santa Anita Park.
“He’s been doing great. I really couldn’t ask for him to be any better,” said trainer Gail Cox. “He’s eating great and he’s feeling very good. He’s had a couple works since the Mile and we’ve been happy with them. He has his last work tomorrow.”
Following that final work at his home base on Friday morning, El Tormenta is scheduled to depart Woodbine on Sunday. The millionaire son of Stormy Atlantic will ship out to New York for an early morning jog and stopover at Belmont. From there, he will catch a Monday flight to California, where he will be reunited with his trainer.
El Tormenta represents the third horse Cox has had contest the Breeders’ Cup, but “this might be my best shot ever,” said the lifelong horsewoman, who also campaigned Hard Not to Like to a top-five finish in the 2011 Juvenile Fillies Turf and two-time Turf Sprint contender Something Extra.
Woodbine’s leading jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who worked out the winning trip aboard El Tormenta in the Woodbine Mile, will retain the mount as he hopes to hoist his first Breeders’ Cup trophy before retiring from racing action at the end of the year. He was aboard Something Extra for her first try in 2014, finishing 10th, and earned his best result from 10 starts in the Breeders’ Cup in rein to the Reade Baker trainee Fatal Bullet, who was an impressive runner-up, just 1-3/4 lengths behind 2008 Sprint champion Midnight Lute.
Sam-Son Farm’s Breeders’ Cup highlights include winning the 1991 Distaff with Dance Smartly, who had hit the board in the Juvenile Fillies championship the year prior, and winning the 1997 edition of the Turf event with Chief Bearhart. Sky Classic (1992) and Quiet Resolve (2000) were second-place finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Turf for the Milton, Ontario-based Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation that was founded in 1972. Regal Classic, co-owned by Windfields Farm, was also a runner-up in the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
El Tormenta boasts seven top-two finishes from 13 career starts, with this year’s Grade 2 Connaught Cup among his four wins.
For more information on the Breeders’ Cup, visit www.breederscup.com.