08/27/2008 12:00AM

QEII could be next for Storm Mesa


Storm Mesa, who this summer won graded stakes on turf and dirt, will remain on turf for the immediate future. Her trainer, Bret Calhoun, said he would like to see her make her next start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland on Oct. 11.

"It's an invitational race, so we've got to get invited," Calhoun said. "But that's our plan."

Storm Mesa won five straight races between March and July, including three stakes. Her first one was the $100,000 Cinemine at Lone Star Park for which she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108. Storm Mesa also won the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows and the Grade 2 San Clemente at Del Mar. Her streak ended Aug. 16, when she finished fifth, beaten four lengths, in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.

"I think she had too many hard, fast races," said Calhoun. "I think she was just empty, just tired. She'd come back in three weeks that day, and she'd been coming back in four and been running fast numbers on all the sheets, and I think it just finally caught up with her."

Storm Mesa is based in Kentucky.