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Maiden Stormy Ballad Wins Inaugural Lake Michigan Stakes

Churchill Downs Communications | 09/21/2008 #

Trainer Tony Granitz was admittedly rolling the dice when he decided to nominate the maiden Stormy Ballad, owned by Cottowood Stables, to the inaugural edition of the $100,000 Lake Michigan Stakes for 3-year-olds, but the veteran conditioner's gamble paid off when the son of Stormy Atlantic notched career victory number one when capturing the 5 1/2-furlong grass test in 1:04.68 over an Arlington Park turf course rated as soft on Saturday.  Junior Alvarado had the mount.

"We nominated just to take a look at it, and when there were only 16 nominated, the owner decided to take a chance," Granitz said after the horse's one-length tally.  "We were hoping all the speed in the race would battle up front and everything worked out for us."

The maiden score was worth $59,400 for Stormy Ballad, whose record entering the Lake Michigan was six seconds and two thirds from nine starts.  His bankroll now stands at $95,355.

Amazing Results, the 11-10 post time favorite, was second in the six-horse line-up, a half-length to the good of Grand Sensation.  Chitoz, The Darp and Pulla Fast One completed the order of finish.

Sent off as the longest price on the board at odds of 20-1, Stormy Ballad paid $42, $12 and $5.  Amazing Results returned $2.80 and $2.40.  Grand Sensation paid $4.

Also, on Saturday, Miller Racing Stable & M. Conway's Dynaman recorded his fourth straight win with a length and a quarter victory in the $53,600 John Henry Stakes.  The Danny Miller-trained son of Dynaformer was ridden by Carlos Silva and covered the mile and a sixteenth over soft turf in 1:45.24.  He paid $10.60, $5.20 and $4.20.