12/15/2005 12:00AM

Meteor Storm in drought-ending spot


MIAMI - Meteor Storm has traveled across the country and into Canada to face the elite of the turf division all year. Along the way he has amassed more than $600,000 in earnings yet does not have a single victory to show for all his hard work and remarkably consistent form. That problem should be solved Saturday when Meteor Storm closes out his 2005 campaign in Calder's $200,000 .

The Grade 2 McKnight is the highlight of Saturday's Grand Slam II card at Calder, which also includes the Grade 2 La Prevoyante Handicap, the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap, and the seven-furlong Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap. The four races also make up a special all-stakes pick-four wager.

The 1 1/2-mile McKnight has drawn perhaps the deepest field in its 34-year history. Along with Meteor Storm, the race has lured Grade 1 winner Pellegrino, millionaire Request for Parole, the Grade 1-placed Silverfoot, Grade 2 winner Revved Up, and defending champion Dreadnaught.

But even in such an imposing lineup, Meteor Storm remains the class of the field. The 6-year-old is a Grade 1 and multiple Grade 2 winner of more than $1.2 million. In 2004, he followed Grade 2 wins in the San Luis Rey and San Juan Capistrano Handicap with a come-from-behind 1 1/4-length victory in Belmont's Grade 1 Manhattan. He has finished second in a pair of Grade 1 races, fourth in two other Grade 1's, and second in two Grade 2's in 2005.

"Obviously it's disappointing he hasn't been able to win a race this year," said Wally Dollase, who trains Meteor Storm for The Horizon Stable. "But he's been right there while running against the very best all season. Maybe it's just a matter of him not being quite the best. But he's a very special horse. He's got a great mind and does it all on finesse and athletic ability rather than pure strength."

Revved Up has won four of his last five starts, including two graded stakes, and is coming off an easy win here last month in the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup. He has also won three of his five tries at the 1 1/2-mile

distance of the McKnight.

Silverfoot followed his easy 6 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup with a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Dreadnaught won the 2004 McKnight by a neck over Demeteor and appears to be rounding into his best form.