10/10/2008 12:00AM

Sly Storm gets a perfect trip


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jamie Theriot could not have scripted it better. Laying a perfect third behind a pair of dueling leaders for most of the way, Theriot guided Sly Storm to a neck victory Friday before a sunsplashed crowd in the $112,200 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland.

Sly Storm, the 5-2 second choice in a field of 10 fillies and mares, glided past the top pair of American County and Sea the Joy shortly after turning for home, then was kept to steady pressure when outlasting the steady advances of Taletobetold, the slight 5-2 favorite, and Adhsilver, who dead-heated for place in the 5 1/2-furlong turf race.

"It was all about the trip," said Theriot, who avoided serious injury a week beforehand in a frightening spill on opening day of the fall meet.

Tom Proctor is the trainer of Sly Storm, a 3-year-old Storm Cat filly that Glen Hill Farm owner Leonard Lavin purchased for $500,000 as a yearling at the 2006 Keeneland September sales.

"Mr. Lavin paid quite a bit for her, and maybe he got a little lucky," Proctor said. "Surface doesn't mean that much to her. She's probably a sprinter, which is fine. Hopefully, we've gotten real lucky and we have a real nice filly here."

Sly Storm, already a winner on dirt, turf, and synthetics in a mere seven-race career, completed 5 1/2 furlongs over a firm turf in 1:03.60. She paid $7.40 to win.

On another beautiful day of weather and before 22,052, the biggest crowd so far at the 17-day meet, American County and Sea the Joy set a rapid pace, with Sly Storm poised to get them. She sped clear and was able to get to the wire before several others fired their best shots.