12/02/2004 12:00AM

Speedball will need to relax


CHICAGO - Storm the Beach ran like a rookie in his stakes debut, blasting from the gate in the Lightning Jet Handicap three weeks ago at Hawthorne and running himself out of air by the top of the stretch. He returns Saturday in a third-level sprint allowance race, but lying in wait is Never Give In, a horse being managed with the utmost patience.

Rey Aguirre trains only a handful of horses, among them Never Give In, a horse Aguirre also owns. Never Give In turns 6 in less than a month, and if he makes the post Saturday, it will be only his 10th start. But Never Give In has won five times, and Aguirre seems to wait for his horse to get finely tuned before risking a race. Never Give In ran quickly when he beat next-out winner Onlyurimagination in a second-level allowance race here Oct. 9, and he has a chance to haul in Storm the Beach in Saturday's ninth race.

Ten horses were entered in the feature, which also is open to $35,000 claimers. The race's distance, 6 1/2 furlongs, could prove significant, since closers and stalkers like Never Give In will by trying to reel in the speedy Storm the Beach. At six furlongs, they might run out of time, but the extra 110 yards could tax Storm the Beach.

It certainly will if Storm the Beach runs off early the way he did in the Lightning Jet, part of Hawthorne's annual fall afternoon of Illinois-bred stakes racing. Claimed for just $10,000 in July by owner Robert Neumeyer and trainer Jim DiVito, Storm the Beach ran off consecutive allowance wins here earlier this meet, and his blowout victory

Oct. 17 earned him a spot in the stakes race. But Storm the Beach ran more like a Quarter Horse that day: his opening quarter-mile went in 21.60 seconds, far too fast for a track producing only moderate times. The classy Silver Bid pounced just before the quarter pole, going on to a comfortable win, and Storm the Beach actually did well to hang on for fourth.

Storm the Beach and jockey Emanuel Cosme have post 10 Saturday, and if Storm the Beach will relax this time, an ideal pressing trip could await the pair.