Hot Storm (right) notches second Sunshine Millions win with this victory in Saturday's Filly and Mare Sprint.

Hot Storm (right) notches second Sunshine Millions win with this victory in Saturday's Filly and Mare Sprint.


Hot Storm Rains on 'Hemisphere's Parade

Hot Storm ran her winning streak to five races with her richest victory yet, a front-running triumph in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint for California and Florida-breds at Santa Anita Park Saturday.

Hot Storm joined Valentine Dancer as the only two-time winner in the four-year-old Sunshine Millions series. She captured the Oaks in her only other start at Santa Anita last year.

With David Flores in the irons, the 4-year-old Stormy Atlantic  filly took full advantage of a pronounced speed bias at the Arcadia, Calif. track to register a 1 3/4-length win over the odds-on choice Western Hemisphere. Thrilling Victory took third. The final time for the six-furlong event was 1:09 2/5.

"She broke well and I was expecting a lot more speed from the outside, but when my filly took the lead, she started looking around and nobody else was sending, so I was very comfortable," Flores said. "I was very pleased the first half-mile. On the middle of the turn I hit her just a little bit on the shoulder and she went right back on. I was very pleased. She's a very nice filly."

Dallas Stewart trains the winning Florida-bred bay filly for owner and co-breeder Robert A. Adams of Cincinnati. Hot Storm earned $165,000 for her eighth win in 18 starts, and she has now banked $559,505 in her career. The well-traveled filly won the previous four races in her current victory streak in Kentucky.

The second choice in the field of nine, Hot Storm ($8, $3, $2.60) set lively fractions of :21 2/5 and :44 3/5 before turning back the challenge of Western Hemisphere, who had closed well from mid-pack on the turn to reach even terms in upper stretch. But the 7-10 favorite Western Hemisphere ($2.40, $2.20), ridden by Victor Espinoza for trainer Bob Baffert, was being asked early for her run and she ran out of steam in mid-stretch, settling for second. Thrilling Victory ($3) and Martin Pedroza rallied mildly for third, 2 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up, with the deep closer Da Svedonya claiming fourth.

Run Rebecca Run, Double D Appeal, Etch, Aclevershadeofjade and Royally Chosen followed. Abounding Truth, Allswellthatnswell, Alphabet Kisses and Leave Me Alone all scratched.

"She probably needs more distance," Baffert said of the Golden Eagle Farm's runner-up. "When they hit the top of the stretch I said to myself, 'We shoulda run in the (seven furlong) Santa Monica on Sunday.'

"I think Mrs. Mabee is going to have her bred. I don't know what stallion they're going to go to."

The multiple stakes-winning Western Hemisphere has a 4-5-1 record in 13 starts with earnings of $417,575.

(Chart, Equibase)