07/25/2008 11:00PM

Midwest shipper Storm Mesa wins San Clemente


DEL MAR, Calif. - Winning a graded stakes on turf in California is the latest accomplishment for the rapidly improving Storm Mesa.

In Saturday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar, Storm Mesa won her fifth consecutive race, and first on turf, overcoming a spot of trouble on the backstretch of the one-mile turf race.

Jockey Eddie Martin, Jr., said Storm Mesa was in tight midway through the race, but that she was not terribly bothered. Storm Mesa went from third on the backstretch to sixth on the turn, but closed well through the final quarter-mile to win the Grade 2 San Clemente by 1 1/4 lengths. Storm Mesa ($17.60) ran a mile on turf in 1:33.54.

"I liked the way she turned off," Martin said. "She was so cooperative and so relaxed."

Tasha's Miracle, another filly making her turf debut, finished second, a head in front of pacesetter Misty Ocean in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies. Missit, the 5-2 favorite, finished fourth.

The San Clemente was the first success at Del Mar for Martin, and trainer Bret Calhoun. Owned by Richard Davis, Storm Mesa has won 5 of 10 starts and $329,510. She won stakes at Lone Star Park and Prairie Meadows earlier this year.