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) (VIDEO).
Ridden by Eddie Martin Jr., Storm Mesa broke from post three, held a narrow advantage at the top of the lane and then held off a late bid from Sky Mom in the 1 1/16-mile main track event. The final time was 1:44.89.
Sky Mom, near the back of the field of six for most of the way, rallied well under Shaun Bridgmohan to get second, a length in front of Alina. Both horses are trained by Steve Asmussen.
Owned by Richard Davis and trained by Bret Calhoun, Storm Mesa entered the Oaks off a dominating 13 1/2-length romp in the May 26 Cinemine Stakes at
Early on she was pressed by Rasierra, who broke sharply from post 10 under Shane Laviolette. Tight Precision and Timely Reflection were also close up, as Storm Mesa set fractions of :23.57, :47.26 and 1:11.38.
Last after a half-mile, Alina made a bold move under Luis Quinonez around the final turn and positioned herself into second, just a half-length back, as they straightened away. But Storm Mesa was not about to relinquish her advantage, as she repelled her closest rival and then held off a late charge by Sky Mom.
Out of the Pleasant Colony mare Narjis Flower, Storm Mesa was bred in
Going off as the even-money favorite, the winner paid $4, $3.20 and $2.40. The exacta (3-9) returned $27.60, while the trifecta (
Tight Precision was fourth, followed by Rasierra and Timely Reflection. Day of Victory, Hartigan, Maren’s Meadow and Miss Missile were scratched.