10/19/2003 11:00PM

Storming Home feels right at home

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - Storming Home, the top turf marathoner in California this year, may have a home-course advantage in Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.

On Sept. 28, Storming Home won the Clement Hirsch Turf Championship in his first appearance on the course. Sunday, he worked seven furlongs in 1:28.40, finishing well.

Storming Home worked in company with stablemate Sarafan, a pre-entrant for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Storming Home started behind Sarafan and drew alongside his workmate on turn.

Storming Home went the first five furlongs in 1:04, and the last quarter-mile in 24.40 seconds.

The workout left trainer Neil Drysdale optimistic about his chances in an excellent field.

"Storming Home is coming along very well," Drysdale said. "It was a maintenance work. Storming Home wanted to take off. He's quite eager. It's a good sign. We weren't looking to set any records."

Run over 1 1/2 miles, the Turf is expected to have eight or nine starters. Falbrav, a winner of four major stakes in Europe this year, may be entered for the Classic. Falbrav is considered a top contender in the Turf, along with Storming Home, Sulamani, and High Chaparral, the defending champion. The other expected starters are Balto Star, Deeliteful Irving, Johar, The Tin Man, and Toccet.

Johar and The Tin Man are trained by Richard Mandella, who won the 1993 Turf with Horse of the Year Kotashaan.

Storming Home is one of two American-based probables who won their last start. In the Clement Hirsch Turf Championship over 1 1/4 miles here on Sept. 28, Storming Home was last early in a four-horse field, chasing a slow pace. He rallied from third in the final quarter-mile to catch a determined Johar, scoring by a half-length.

The win helped erase the disappointment of the Arlington Million on Aug. 16, when Storming Home finished first but was disqualified and placed fourth for causing interference in the final few strides. The disqualification led to the promotion of Sulamani from second to first. Sulamani returned to win the Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 27.

As of Monday, five starters were on the grounds - Falbrav, High Chaparral, Johar, The Tin Man, and Toccet. Balto Star, Deeliteful Irving, and Sulamani were expected mid-week from the East Coast. Storming Home is based at Hollywood Park and only shipped to Santa Anita for his workout.

High Chaparral arrived from Ireland on Sunday. He finished third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct. 5, his most recent start.

Falbrav cleared quarantine on Monday.

High Chaparral beat Falbrav by a neck in the Irish Champion Stakes on Sept. 6 at Leopardstown.

Toccet, a five-time stakes winner on dirt, is likely to start in the Turf, but is also pre-entered for the Classic and has been nominated for the $150,000 Seabiscuit Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on dirt on the undercard.

Trainer John Scanlan said a final decision on which race is selected will be made by owner Daniel Borislow.