07/22/2005 12:00AM

Stormy Impact eyes repeat


OMAHA, Neb. - Stormy Impact comes off a strong victory in the Dr. Fager Stakes at Arlington Park to headline a field of eight in Sunday's $100,000 Omaha Stakes. The Omaha is the highlight of the four-day Horsemen's Park Festival of Racing, which concludes Sunday.

won the Omaha last year, and this year took Nebraska's only other $100,000 race, the Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes in April. Stormy Impact should be favored in a strong field that also includes 2003 Omaha winner Dusty Spike.

Stormy Impact, trained by Frank Kirby, ran a career-best 104 Beyer Figure in the Dr. Fager while collecting his third stakes win of the year. He also won the Sarco Stakes at Hawthorne this spring and has earned more than $125,000 in 2005. Perry Compton will ride Stormy Impact, the 122-pound starting highweight, from post 3.

pulled off the only sweep of Nebraska's $100,000 races when he won both the Bosselman/Gus Fonner and the Omaha in 2003. He failed to fire in last year's Omaha and finished seventh, and he was fifth in this year's Bosselman. Kerry Kretzer will return to ride Dusty Spike at 114 pounds from post 4.

Trainer Joe Woodard has a good shot at the upset with Sterling Gold. has made his last three starts against optional allowance company at Churchill Downs, with a win sandwiched between two narrow losses. Like Stormy Impact and Dusty Spike, he comes from off the pace. Jockey Angela Owens, sporting a 33 percent win rate with 10 wins from 30 mounts this year, will be aboard from post 7 at 116 pounds.

No Term Limit, from the barn of trainer David Anderson, should set the pace, with Big Glori and Cree also likely to show good speed. That should set the stage for a cavalry charge in the stretch, and any of the three aforementioned closers appear capable of taking the home the prize.

* On the undercard, The Straw Man faces seven other Nebraska-bred 3-year-olds in the $27,500 Skunktail at a mile. A winner of 5 of 8 starts this year, The Straw Man has dominated 3-year-old racing in Nebraska with wins in the Fonner Park Special and Nebraska Derby at Fonner Park and the State Fair Breeders Special and State Fair Derby at Lincoln. Dennis Collins ride for trainer Jason Wise.

* Cerveza Lite ($8.80) got her first stakes victory with a 9 3/4-length score in the $29,500 Fantango Lady Stakes on the Festival of Racing's opening day, Thursday, before an estimated 8,500 fans.