11/10/2001 12:00AM

Mountain Forum takes to the turf

Email

MIAMI, Fla. - Trainer Ron Spatz maintained all along that Mountain Forum would be a better horse once he got on the turf, and his assessment proved accurate when the colt rallied to a neck victory over 25-1 Breakfast in Maui in Saturday's $60,000 Fabulous Frolic Stakes, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds.

The Fabulous Frolic shared billing on Saturday's card with the $60,000 Lulu's Ransom Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at a mile on turf, which was won by August Storm. A New Jersey invader, August Storm scored a three-length victory as the favorite over the 21-1 Social Place.

Mountain Forum had won only once in six starts on dirt - but, as predicted, relished the grass, rallying from near the back of the pack and going wide around the second turn to overtake the tiring leaders at midstretch and then withstand a strong late surge from Breakfast in Maui. Carey's Gold, the tepid 3-1 favorite, stopped badly and finished last in a field of 12 2-year-old colts and geldings.

"He's had an explosive move on dirt but tended to hang a bit," Spatz said of Mountain Forum. "I was hoping he'd carry that move over to the turf and he did."

Mountain Forum paid $20.40 after covering the distance in 1:39.22 under Abel Castellano Jr.

August Storm came into the Lulu's Ransom off a victory in the Prom Stakes at The Meadowlands, although had yet to run beyond five furlongs. But August Storm, a daughter of Storm Creek, proved she could stay two turns, rallying from off a very fast pace to open a long lead into the stretch before maintaining a comfortable advantage through the final furlong.

Jose Ferrer rode August Storm, who is trained by Linda Rice for the August Morn Farm. She paid $5.40 as the favorite in a field of eight. She ran the mile in 1:38.93, .29 seconds faster than the males.

"Today was a test to see if she could handle the distance and obviously we were very pleased by her performance," said Bob Francello, a partner in August Morn Farm speaking on behalf of Rice, who was not in attendance Saturday. "We have several options for her, but most likely, we'll point for the next one here," meaning the $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat on Dec. 1.