09/29/2007 12:00AM

Mile suits Trippi's Storm

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - Trippi's Storm and After Market both showed that shorter may be better as they finished a close one-two in Saturday's $250,00 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park, likely earning themselves spots in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.

Trippi's Storm and After Market were both cutting back to a mile after running in graded stakes at 1 3/8 miles in their last starts. In the Kelso, Trippi's Storm, in receipt of nine pounds from After Market, got the better of the trips and outfinished that rival in the stretch to win the Grade 2 race by one-half length. It was another 1 1/2 lengths to Palace Episode.

Under Javier Castellano, Trippi's Storm saved ground down the backstretch, came off the rail approaching the quarter pole, then rallied four wide down the stretch to get the victory. After Market, meanwhile, was wide down the backside under Alex Solis and had to rally five wide down the lane while just coming up short.

Trippi's Storm ($12.60) completed the mile in 1:32.36.

"He rode him great, saved a little ground, angled out - you really like to see that,'' said Stan Hough, trainer of Trippi's Storm. "After Market was wide all the way around, so we had a better trip. This is the kind of race where trip is everything.''

Though Trippi's Storm, a 4-year-old gelded son of Trippi, began the year running for maiden $32,000 claiming on dirt, he could now be headed to the $2 million BC Mile.

"We've got to consider it with the idea it'll be very tough, but you only go around one time,'' said Hough, who trains the gelding for Mrs. Einar Robsham. "We'll see how he comes out of it. We ran back a little quick this time, and obviously that would be a little quick again. It worked this time.''

Marty Wygod, the owner of After Market, said he was very pleased with his colt's race, despite the fact that the loss ended a four-race winning streak. Wygod had instructed trainer John Shirreffs to ship After Market here from California for the Kelso with the idea of using it as a prep for the BC Mile.

"John's making some noise about the [$5 million] Classic because he seems to like the dirt a little bit,'' Wygod said. "The probability I think is the Mile.''