Millennium Storm Holds Them Off at Calder

Calder-based Millennium Storm, trained by Bill White, led a field of 12 2-year-olds from start to finish in the $100,000 Mecke Stakes on his home turf Saturday.

It was a hard-fought win, however, as the son of Future Storm held off the late surges of Our Finale, also trained by White, and New York invader Kick In at the wire. The official margin of victory was a head, while Our Finale finished just a nose in front of Kick In. A half-length back was Supervisor in fourth, completing a $30,767.30 superfecta.

Ridden by jockey Rene Douglas, who just recently arrived in south Florida after another successful season as leading rider at Arlington Park this year, Millenium Storm was making his third start on turf in the Mecke. His previous efforts on the grass were rather lackluster and could explain his going off at odds of 18-to-1. In his last start, Millenium Storm was a winner at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track, also defeating his stablemate Our Finale in that contest.

Millenium Storm is owned by the partnership of Gloria Barnett, Nicholas Proscia and Robert Ise. He covered the mile and a sixteenth over the firm turf in 1:42 2/5 and paid $38.20, 16.80, and 7.40.

"When he (Millenium Storm) first came to me in the spring, I thought his future would be on turf with his pedigree, but I told the owners it would be awhile before we got to find out," White said. "He showed speed in his first start on grass and stopped, which is still a mystery. Then he had a lot of trouble in his second race. Last time on the dirt (off-the-turf allowance), he dug in and drew off when Our Finale came to him and I knew then that he was on top of his game."

"I got to the lead and it was perfect, except he was jumping the shadows and kind of green," said Douglas. "I had to keep him together, up against the bridle. I took him to the lead and kept after him and when I hit him left handed he responded and got the job done."

(Chart, Equibase)

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