Updated on 09/17/2011 12:32PM

Nothing spooks Storming Home this time

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Storming Home ($2.60) wins by a 1/2 length in Sunday's $245,000 Clement Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Storming Home scored a decisive victory in Sunday's $245,000 at Santa Anita, emphasizing his status as a top contender for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf on Oct. 25.

Equally as important, the win helped restore jockey Gary Stevens's confidence in Storming Home. In the Arlington Million on Aug. 16, Storming Home veered out sharply and unseated Stevens after the finish. Storming Home was disqualified and placed fourth for causing interference in the final strides, and Stevens suffered a collapsed lung in the spill.

Stevens said Storming Home was an ideal mount.

"He was very professional," Stevens said. "I'm still baffled at what happened last time."

Facing just three opponents Sunday, Storming Home chased a slow pace to the final turn, rallied wide, and caught a stubborn Johar in the final furlong to win by a half-length.

None of the four starters were confirmed front-runners, leaving Johar in front through a slow pace of 25.46 and 50.78 seconds. Johar, making his second start after a comeback from injury, battled with Storming Home and yielded his lead late. Trainer Richard Mandella said Johar will be pointed for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Johar finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Irish Warrior, followed by Continuously. Mont Saint Michel was scratched.

Storming Home ($2.60) finished 1 1/4 miles on turf in 2:01.64.

"I was loaded all the way," Stevens said. "I sat on him, eased him out at the half, [and] he picked it up steadily. It went pretty well, and it was an easy race for him."

Storming Home's ability to close into a slow pace impressed his trainer, Neil Drysdale. "He showed me a new dimension," Drysdale said. "He did it very well. Gary said he was completely switched off and that he felt he had the measure of the other horses."

Owned by Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum, Storming Home has won 8 of 23 starts and $1,536,704, racing in Europe and the United States. In the spring, Storming Home won two stakes at Hollywood Park - the Jim Murray Memorial and Charles Whittingham handicaps.