07/06/2006 12:00AM

All eyes on Follow the Storm


Follow the Storm has ripped through his conditions and will be aiming for his fifth straight win on Saturday when he makes his turf and stakes debut in the $50,000 Excalibur at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

The one-mile race for 3-year-olds on turf drew a well-matched field of eight, including James Ready Magic, who has won his last two starts, and Clock, a half-brother to Grade 3 winners Watch, War Thief, and Prime Meridian.

But the focus will be on Follow the Storm, who invades from Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La. He won his maiden over six furlongs in his second career start in April, and returned to win a first-level allowance at six furlongs in May. Follow the Storm then stretched out to two turns, and defeated older horses in two optional claimers in June.

"He's something special, I believe," said Brandon Marks, who trains Follow the Storm for Carrol Castille.

is moving to turf for a couple of reasons, and one of them is pedigree, said Marks.

"We've been watching that filly run - Sweet Talker - and she's a Stormin Fever, also," Marks said of the Grade 1 turf winner by the same sire as Follow the Storm. "We've watched her run ever since back when she broke her maiden, and when they moved her to the turf it looked like she just loved it.

"He kind of runs like a turf horse," Marks said of Follow the Storm. "He's got turf action."

Follow the Storm was purchased for $250,000 as a 2-year-old in training in February 2005. He comes into the Excalibur off a 2 1/4-length win in a one-mile race June 22.

"The second time we ran him two turns, he ran with a couple of old classy horses," Marks said. "A couple of them were old stakes horses, Drill Hall and others. They were pretty nice horses."

Follow the Storm used his excellent speed to wire the field in his last start, and is a candidate to control the pace in the Excalibur. He will break from post 2 under Kerwin Clark.

"We're expecting him to be on the lead," Marks said. "We're pretty sure he will be. It depends on how he handles the surface. Me, I think he'll love turf."

enters the Excalibur off back-to-back turf allowance wins at Lone Star Park. He should make his bid in the late stages.