SANTA ANITA-BASED STORM THE COURT IS NAMED 2-YEAR-OLD ECLIPSE CHAMPION MALE; COLT BY COURT VISION IS SCHEDULED TO MAKE HIS 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT IN THE GRADE II, $200,000 SAN VICENTE STAKES SUNDAY, FEB. 9
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2020)–A longshot no more, trainer Peter Eurton’s Santa Anita-based Storm the Court was an overwhelming 147-51 selection as the nation’s Eclipse Champion 2-year-old Male, as was announced last night at the 49th annual Eclipse Awards gala held at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
By Court Vision, out of the Tejano Run mare My Tejana Storm, Storm the Court, who finished 96 votes clear of runner-up Structor, won his Eclipse on the strength of his gutty gate to wire triumph in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 1, a race in which he prevailed by a head and paid $93.80 to win.
“We had no idea on how the vote would go, so we’re obviously elated,” said Eurton, who returned early this morning from Gulfstream. “We weren’t about to count our chickens before they hatched, but it is very gratifying and we’re excited about running in the San Vicente.
“He’s a late foal (May 5, 2017), so he’s still growing. He’s filled out some since the Breeders’ Cup and he’s training well.”
A well beaten third in Santa Anita’s Grade I American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27, Storm the Court’s connections were undeterred and the colt responded with his Breeders’ Cup triumph at odds of 45-1. With the winner’s share of $1.1 million, Storm the Court now has total earnings of $1,172,951–not bad for a horse that was purchased for $60,000 at the Ocala Breeders April 2-year-old in Training Sale.
“This is definitely a once in a lifetime deal,” said part owner Dan Hudock, who resides in nearby Glendora with his wife Rosalyn. “I told my wife this is a million to one shot, if you think we can do this twice, you’re crazy! I’m really a nobody, but I’ve been doing this for 35 years and for 32 of those, I was dealing with claiming horses.
“I’ve done the math and a $20,000 claimer costs just as much to maintain as Storm the Court. We’ve been with Pete for three years now and with this horse, we don’t see a vet bill, he gets shoes, Lasix for workouts and a couple carrots! We had no idea if we’d win. We stayed home and watched the whole thing…My phone was ringing all night.”
With two wins from four starts at age two, Storm the Court, who has been ridden in all of his races by Flavien Prat, worked five furlongs this past Sunday and is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 9.
“A couple more works will tighten the screws up a little bit,” said Eurton following the work, which was completed in 1:00.30 in tandem with Prat. “I’ve got pictures of Flavien pulling up with a smile on his face. He’s very pleased and that makes me happy.”