Stormy Embrace

Stormy Embrace typifies the notion that a superior horse can emerge from anywhere. 

"This is a very egalitarian game,” her owner, Dr. Matt Vuskovich, who breeds and races as Matalona Thoroughbreds, said last year after Stormy Embrace won the 2018 Princess Rooney Stakes (G2).

She is the first foal produced by two-time winner Stormy Allure, who Vuskovich purchased for $6,500 at the 2012 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Stormy Embrace won the Princess Rooney again in 2019 to earn her second trip to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). 

"We wanted to go back (to the Breeders' Cup) because we have unattended business,” Vuskovich told Blood-Horse. “She didn't have a really good trip. We feel if we can get a good trip in the Breeders' Cup, we can have a legitimate chance."

Trainer Kathleen O’Connell notes that one of Stormy Embrace’s attributes is her rapport with regular jockey Wilmer Garcia.

"The best thing about her is she'll do whatever you want," O'Connell said. "She's got speed, but if you ask her, she's going to go overboard. Wilmer's got a great set of hands, and he really fits her well."

With more than 2,100 victories since she began her career in 1981, O’Connell is one of Thoroughbred racing’s winningest female trainers. She races year round in Florida and has a string at Monmouth Park in the summer.

Matalona Thoroughbreds, based in Gainesville, Florida, is the family-owned operation of Vuskovich and his wife, Lona. With a background as a physician, Vuskovich has more than four decades of experience in the Thoroughbred industry.

Lifetime Stats

Challenge Series Races Won
2019 Princess Rooney H.
Breeders’ Cup Winner
2018 Princess Rooney H.
2019 Graded Stakes Points

Previous Races

September 07, 2019Sheer Drama S.GULFSTREAM PARK 4
June 29, 2019Princess Rooney S.GULFSTREAM PARK21
May 18, 2019Musical Romance S.GULFSTREAM PARK 1
January 26, 2019Fasig-Tipton Hurricane Bertie S.GULFSTREAM PARK33
December 15, 2018Sugar Swirl S.GULFSTREAM PARK32
November 03, 2018Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare SprintCHURCHILL DOWNS111
September 08, 2018Sheer Drama S.GULFSTREAM PARK 3
June 30, 2018Princess Rooney S.GULFSTREAM PARK21
May 19, 2018Musical Romance S.GULFSTREAM PARK 1
March 10, 2018 TAMPA BAY DOWNS 1
February 17, 2018Minaret S.TAMPA BAY DOWNS 3
January 21, 2018 TAMPA BAY DOWNS 1
December 16, 2017FTBOA City of Ocala Florida Sire S.TAMPA BAY DOWNS 2
November 11, 2017Millions Distaff S.GULFSTREAM PARK WEST 3
October 08, 2017 LAUREL PARK 4
August 20, 2017 MONMOUTH PARK 2
July 21, 2017 MONMOUTH PARK 1
July 01, 2017 MONMOUTH PARK 2
June 10, 2017Crank It Up S.MONMOUTH PARK 5
May 19, 2017Adena Springs Miss Preakness S.PIMLICO39
April 27, 2017 GULFSTREAM PARK 1
April 09, 2017 TAMPA BAY DOWNS 2
October 01, 2016Florida Sire My Dear Girl S.GULFSTREAM PARK 7
September 03, 2016Florida Sire Susan's Girl S.GULFSTREAM PARK 2
August 06, 2016Florida Sire Desert Vixen S.GULFSTREAM PARK 6
July 22, 2016 GULFSTREAM PARK 1

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