BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Live Oak Plantation homebred Our Flash Drive had a three-race win streak snapped in her last race but will try to resume her winning ways Saturday in the $1,000,000 AGS Ladies Turf Sprint, a Grade 2 test for fillies and mares set to go six-and-a-half furlongs on the unique turf course at Kentucky Downs.
The Mark Casse-trained Our Flash Drive started her streak in her last start of 2022 when she won the Grade 2 Bessarabian by five-and-a-half lengths going seven furlongs on the synthetic main course at Woodbine on Nov. 12. She was then given six months away from the races but the break did not affect her form as she won the Grade 3 Whimsical by nearly two lengths over seven furlongs on the all-weather surface at Woodbine on May 13.
Casse then switched her to six-and-a-half furlongs on the Woodbine turf for her next start and she responded with length-and-a-quarter triumph in the Grade 2 Royal North on June 3.
Her streak came to an end at Saratoga in the Grade 3 Caress on July 22, but Our Flash Drive compromised her chances when she stumbled at the start of the five-and-a-half furlong test on the grass. She finished fifth, but was less than three lengths behind winner Roses for Debra and a half-length off of runner-up Wakanaka (Ire), who she faces again in the Ladies Turf Sprint.
Our Flash Drive is by Ghostzapper out of Dynamotor, by Dynaformer and the 5-year-old mare has won five of 17 career starts with three seconds and a third while earning $609,536.
John Velazquez will ride Our Flash Drive from post seven in the field of nine and they are listed at 10-1 on the morning line.
The horse to beat in the Ladies Turf Sprint also has Florida connections as 9-5 morning line favorite Bay Storm and is owned by John and Leslie Malone’s Bridlewood Farm, who purchased her out of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales auction ring.
Bay Storm, who was second to Campanelle (Ire) in this race last year, sold for $400,000 out of the Woodford Reserve consignment at the 2020 OBS Spring Sale.
Trained by Jonathan Thomas, the 5-year-old Bay Storm won the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Sprint Preview, also at five-and-a-half furlongs on the turf, by a neck at Ellis Park on Aug. 5 after finishing fourth behind winner Poppy Flower in the Grade 3 Intercontinental at Belmont Park on June 9.
Bay Storm is by Kantharos out of Stormy Regatta, by Midshipman and has a consistent record of five wins, six seconds and three thirds in 16 career starts including a victory in last year’s $102,000 Incredible Revenge sprinting five-and-a-half furlongs on the turf at Monmouth Park. She has lifetime earnings of $708,755.
Bay Storm has post six and Florent Geroux has the riding assignment.
Wakanaka will break from post three and is 4-1 in the program for trainer Bill Mott.
The 5-year-old daughter of Power (GB) out of Storyline (Ire), by Kodiac (GB) has one victory in 10 starts since coming to North America from Italy, that coming in the $317,000 Fall Harvest going a mile on the turf at Keeneland in November. She has been second or third five times during that span including the runner-up effort in the Caress.
Wakanaka is owned by Team Valor International and Gary Barber and has a career record of eight wins, five seconds and two thirds in 19 races while earning $786,813.
Joel Rosario has the mount on Wakanaka and they will depart from post three.
Also entered are Fast and Feminine with T.C. Stevens named to ride, Quaria Comet and jockey Joe Talamo, Gerardo Corrales has the assignment on Train to Artemus, Tony Ann with rider Tyler Gaffalione, Unbridled Mary will have Vincent Cheminaud in the irons and Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Gal in a Rush.