10/11/2008 11:00PM

Delta Storm guns for Breeders' Cup spot


ARCADIA, Calif. - The outlook is simple. For Delta Storm to have any chance of gaining a spot in the starting gate for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, he has to win Monday's $65,000 Kangaroo Court Stakes at Santa Anita.

The course and distance of the two races are the same - about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course - but the competition is vastly different. The Kangaroo Court features only one 2008 stakes winner - Delta Storm. The BC Turf Sprint will probably have nothing but stakes winners.

"If we would win, then we'd want to pre-enter him and hope we can get in," trainer Mike Mitchell said of the BC Turf Sprint. "Should we run second or third, I doubt we'd pre-enter. I don't think we'd want to waste the money."

Pre-entries for the Breeders' Cup races are due Tuesday.

Such talk of starting Delta Storm in the Breeders' Cup would have seemed illogical a few months ago. Claimed for $40,000 at Churchill Downs in May, Delta Storm has made four starts for owner Michael House and Mitchell. During that time, Delta Storm has won twice, including the Pirate's Bounty Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 3 at 43-1, and finished fourth at 24-1 in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes on the main track here Sept. 27.

Delta Storm disputed the lead from the inside for the first half-mile of the Ancient Title before fading to finish 6 1/2 lengths behind Cost of Freedom.

"If I could have gotten off the fence, I think we might have run second or third," Mitchell said. "I'm not saying I would have won, but we could have been a little closer."

Delta Storm has won 4 of 9 starts on turf in his 24-race career, which includes 9 wins and earnings of $284,688.

"He's had some pretty good races on the turf," Mitchell said. "He kind of does everything right. He really is a nice little horse."

Delta Storm, who will be ridden by Aaron Gryder, is part of a six-horse field in the Kangaroo Court, which is restricted to horses that have not won a graded stakes this year.

Majestic Stream, third in the Governor's Cup Handicap at Fairplex Park in September, is making his second start after a one-year layoff caused by an abscess near his rib cage and a breathing problem, trainer Jerry Wallace said.