05/19/2003 12:00AM

Stormcaster might Donamire's newest star


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Donamire Farm long has been a stalwart in the Kentucky breeding and racing industry. Owned by Lexington-area home builders Don and Mira Ball, the farm has been represented by a litany of top horses since the 1970's, including Going Straight, Recusant, Summer Advocate, Going Investor, Straight Flow, Glorious View, Straight Edition, and, most recently, Twilight Road.

It may be a bit early to say, but the next Donamire standout may be in the barn that trainer Katherine "K.K." Ball, the farm owner's daughter-in-law, oversees at Keeneland. His name is Stormcaster, a 4-year-old Storm Boot colt who figures as one of the favorites in the feature race Wednesday at Churchill Downs, a second-level allowance at six furlongs.

Stormcaster was sharp in winning on the May 2 Kentucky Oaks undercard, and Ball believes the colt has a bright future.

"He had a fractured tibia and some shin problems that have kind of limited his opportunities," said Ball. "But now he's fine, and we're holding out quite a bit of promise for him."

Stormcaster will break from post 6 in a field of nine entered in the ninth of 10 Wednesday races. He will be ridden by Pat Day, who rode four winners here Sunday. Day might have had a fifth win, but his mount in the feature race, Desert Gold, broke through the gate before the start and ran off, forcing the stewards to scratch her. The feature was won by 17-1 shot Southern Surprise, ridden by Lonnie Meche and trained by Morris Nicks.

The pick six carryover into the Wednesday card is $7,963. First post is 1:15 p.m.

Golden Marlin saves Foley's day

He wasn't anywhere near the Preakness, but trainer Greg Foley still had a big weekend.

Champali, Foley's stable star, was declared from the Preakness after coming down with colic four days before the race, but another Foley runner, Golden Marlin, captured the $109,000 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill.

"It ended up being a good day," said Foley. "That was a home run winning that race - not only because of the pot, but because of her future as a broodmare."

Foley is a part-owner of Golden Marlin, a 3-year-old filly by the former turf star Marlin.

Meanwhile, after getting a few days off, Champali resumed training over the weekend. Rob Lloyd, who manages the Wisconsin-based syndicate which owns the colt, said Champali would be pointed to the June 7 Riva Ridge Stakes at Belmont or the June 14 Northern Dancer at Churchill.

Cellars Shiraz arrives for Mint Julep

Cellars Shiraz, the hard-hitting Calder-based filly, arrived here Sunday for trainer Bill Cesare and will be the 120-pound highweight in the lone stakes of the coming weekend, the $150,000 Early Times Mint Julep Stakes on Saturday.

Cellars Shiraz has been first or second in 11 of 12 career starts on turf. Among her expected opposition for the 1 1/8-mile Mint Julep are Quick Tip (119), San Dare (119), Stylish (117), Kiss the Devil (115), Crystal Sea (114), Guana (114), and Salzurita (112).

Trainer Simon headed for airwaves

"Down the Stretch," a one-hour radio show hosted by trainer Chuck Simon, is set to debut Friday on local station WKJK (1080 AM) at 7 p.m.

Simon, 35, has never hosted a radio show but promises a different brand of discussion on racing. "It'll be closer to Howard Stern than Roger Stein," he quipped. Stern hosts an outrageous nationally syndicated show, while Stein hosts a horse-racing show in Southern California.

Simon has been training on his own for four years after serving as an assistant under Allen Jerkens for five years.