Hush of a Storm enters Derby fray in Battaglia

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Hush of a Storm makes it three straight in John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. Coady Photography.

By Tom Law

Hush of a Storm survived a lengthy inquiry and picked up points toward a possible spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate in Friday night’s $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park.

The 3-year-old son of Creative Cause, the lone New York-bred in the field of 11, rallied in the stretch for a 1 ½-length victory over Like the King with even-money favorite Gretzky the Great a neck back in third. Hush of a Storm, who won the 1 1/16-mile Battaglia in 1:44 over the Tapeta Footings synthetic surface in showery conditions in Northern Kentucky, won his third straight race for trainer Bill Morey and owner Joseph P. Morey Jr. Revocable Trust.

Hush of a Storm also earned 10 points toward a possible spot in the Derby field with the victory, which also figures to set him up for a run in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks March 27 at Turfway. The Jeff Ruby offers 100 points to the winner in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series along with 40 to the runner-up, 20 to third and 10 to fourth. Hush of a Storm’s 10 points put him 20th on the standings through Friday.

Bred by Dr. Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Hush of a Storm improved to 3-for-4 in the Battaglia. Each of the victories have come at Turfway – a 1-mile maiden special weight Dec. 19 and a 1-mile optional Jan. 6.

Stretched out another sixteenth for the Battaglia and sent off as the 6-1 third choice under Santiago Gonzalez, Hush of a Storm raced toward the back early while Gretzky the Great set the pace through opening fractions of :23.86 and :47.11 just ahead of Pico d’Oro. Gretzky the Great still led through 6 furlongs in 1:11.24 while Like the King made a run past the quarter pole ahead of Hush of a Storm.

From the outside in the trio of Hush of a Storm, Like the King and Gretzky the Great battled in the lane, with the eventual winner bearing in a bit in deep stretch. Rafael Bejarano took up a bit inside the sixteenth pole aboard Like the King but still managed to edge Gretzky the Great the finish.

Stewards conducted a review of the stretch run of the first four finishers but made no change.

Santiago Gonzalez wraps up on Hush of a Storm after Battaglia victory. Coady Photography.

Hush of a Storm is the first foal out of the winning Flatter mare Hush Now. Consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent for Berkshire Stud, he sold for $60,000 to Northway Bloodstock at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale.

Consigned by Nick de Meric’s de Meric Sales, agent, at last year’s OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, Hush of a Storm breezed a quarter-mile during presale workouts in :21.3 before being purchased by Joseph P. Morey Trust for $75,000.

Hush Now, who is out of the unraced Quiet American mare Silence Please, won and earned $68,784 for owner and breeder Berkshire Stud before retiring prior to the 2017 season.

Hush Now is a full sister to multiple stakes winner and $358,487-earner Brigand and a half sister to stakes winner and $137,651-earner Sky Music.

Brigand, a $925,000 2-year-old in training purchase in 2011; Sky Music, a $140,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling; and Hush Now were all bred by Berkshire Stud.

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