07/01/2004 11:00PM

Speed the name of game at Charles Town


They can't sustain their high speed for much more than a half-mile, but the best of the short-sprint specialists at Charles Town are extremely fast horses.

Three veterans of the 4 1/2-furlong wars, who have all recorded triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures twice this year, head a competitive field for Sunday's $100,000 Charles Town Dash Handicap.

Charles Town regulars Anthony Soprano, Calisthenic, and Not for Sam will have to prove they're better than Fine Stormy, a well-traveled sprinter who has been facing some classy competition.

Two starts ago, Fine Stormy took a brief lead at the three-sixteenths pole before fading in the Grade 3 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap on the Preakness undercard. Earlier this year, the 5-year-old Fine Stormy earned Beyers of 101 and 99 sprinting against statebreds in Louisiana.

Those numbers put him in range of Anthony Soprano, who has won with figures of 103-102 since he was claimed for $15,000 in May; Calisthenic, a $5,000 claimer in January whose 105 two starts ago is the best recent figure in the field; and Not for Sam, who validated the 106 he ran last November by putting up Beyers of 103 and 101 in his last two starts.

Other contenders include Ameri Brilliance, who won short sprints at Timonium and Mountaineer last summer with Beyers of 102 and 111, and Take Achance on Me, who switches back to dirt after five straight turf sprints, including two against graded stakes company.