Hush of a Storm Closes for Victory in John Battaglia Memorial

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Hush of a Storm rallied from off the pace to win the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Feb. 26 at Turfway Park. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Joseph P. Morey Jr. Revocable Trust’s Hush of a Storm survived an inquiry and bested 10 other 3-year-olds in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Feb. 26 at Turfway Park, earning 10 points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. The bay Creative Cause colt remained undefeated at Turfway with his third victory at the track from four starts.

Hush of a Storm was sent to post as the 6.70-1 third betting choice behind South Florida shipper Gretzky the Great, winner of the Grade 1 Summer Stakes last September on the turf at Woodbine, and Like the King, an easy victor of a Dec. 4 Turfway allowance-optional claiming race.

Away slowly, Hush of a Storm had only three horses beat as even-money favorite Gretzky the Great sparred with Pico d’Oro through early fractions of :23.86 and :47.11. Hush of a Storm cut into the leader’s advantage as the field sped into the far turn and rider Santiago Gonzalez angled the colt three wide for the stretch run.

After three-quarters in 1:11.24, Hush of a Storm barreled down the middle of the track, sweeping past Like the King and Gretzky the Great despite bearing in for a 1 ½-length score. Like the King edged Gretzky the Great by a neck for second.

Trained by William Morey, the New York-bred completed the 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic surface in 1:44.

After finishing off the board at Churchill Downs going seven furlongs in his debut, Hush of a Storm was stretched out to two turns and broke his maiden by 5 1/2 lengths on this surface. He followed up that effort with a game win in a Jan. 6 allowance-optional claiming race.

The Battaglia serves as a prep for Turfway’s key Kentucky Derby prep, the March 27 Jeff Ruby Steaks. Following the Battaglia, Hush of a Storm is now ranked 20th on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.—Molly Rollins

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