As far as West Coast 3-year-old sprinters are concerned, undefeated Lost in the Fog has been in a class by himself this season. But he could have some company at the top in Storm Wolf, an impressive winner of the $150,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Making his stakes debut, Storm Wolf gave jockey Alex Solis his fifth win on the Hollywood card Saturday, pulling off to win the seven-furlong Barrera by six lengths under a hand ride in 1:22 1/5 on a sweltering day in Inglewood.
Solis' last five-win day at Hollywood Park was July 8, 1994, which was his third five-bagger of that meet.
The 3-year-old son of Stormin Fever
-Exclusive Rosette (Ecliptical), bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones, has won his last three starts by a Lost in the Fog-style total of 20 1/2 lengths.
Bruce Headley trains Storm Wolf, a $300,000 Fasig-Tipton buy in July 2003, for Mercedes Stables LLC and Marsha Naify.
"As soon as he started working, I knew he was a runner," said Headley, who won his third race in a row on the Hollywood card – all ridden by Solis – with his late-developing colt.
"I liked him a lot," Headly said. "It's funny, because I bought Surf Cat, Storm Wolf and Rocket Ready the same day at Fasig-Tipton. They have to look special to me before I buy them. There's a certain thing I like in the look of a horse, and these horses all had that look."
Storm Wolf was off slowly Saturday but was soon in front while between pace rivals High Standards and Thirsty Guy's as they went :21 4/5 for the opening quarter mile and :44 4/5 for the half. Storm Wolf came off the rail on the turn, giving High Standards, a winner of four straight on the dirt, room to challenge along the inside, but in a matter of a couple of strides, he was in control. Storm Wolf, who completed six furlongs in 1:09 2/5, led by 2 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole as High Standards gave way and Ransom Demanded and Dover Dere chased futilely.
"He was running the whole way green, drifting out, looking around," Solis said. Down the stretch, he was looking at the infield. And he didn't break that alertly either. He was just a little green today. Even so, he beat this group real easy. That's how much talent he has."
Of his five-win day Solis said, "I guess it must be Alex Day," in reference to Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex
Dover Dere, ridden by Tyler Baze, got up for second, a half-length in front of Ransom Demanded and Alex Bisono.
Storm Wolf, who earned $90,000 for the win, paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Dover Dere, who has hit the board in nine of his 11 lifetime starts, returned $3.20 and $2.10. Ransom Demanded was $2.10 to show.