Storm Mesa, a grade II-winning daughter of Sky Mesa, has been retired from racing because of a fractured sesamoid in her right front leg.
Jason and Tom discuss the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr.IT). Plus, picks from John Pricci of Equiform for the Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap, Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Ariege, a multiple graded stakes winner who has a victory over the Keeneland Polytrack earlier this season, leads a quality group of 3-year-old fillies that includes grade I winners Backseat Rhythm and Magical Fantasy in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 11 on the turf in Lexington.
A determined runner-up in last month's American Oaks (gr. IT) in her American debut, Satan's Circus faces nine rivals in a wide open $350,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 16.
It seems that no matter what they throw at the vastly improving Storm Mesa, she can handle it. In her latest test, the daughter of Sky Mesa was shipped to Del Mar for her turf debut July 26, and in spite of an eventful trip, she rallied past pacesetter Misty Ocean and Tasha's Miracle to win the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) for her fifth consecutive triumph.
Misty Ocean and Bel Air Sizzle, the first two finishers in last month's Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT), will be among the favorites in an evenly matched field for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar July 26.
It took Storm Mesa six starts and nearly seven months to earn her first victory. Three and half months later she has won four straight and become a graded stakes winner. The 3-year-old Sky Mesa filly completed her meteoric rise June 27 at Prairie Meadows, as she led nearly the entire way to post a one-length score in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III).
Vastly improving with every start, Storm Mesa now faces her toughest competition to date and seeks the biggest payday of her career when she takes on nine rivals in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) June 27 at Prairie Meadows.
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