09/16/2009 11:00PM

Stormy Lord heads Summer Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stormy Lord will put his unbeaten turf record on the line Saturday at Woodbine in the one-mile $300,000 Summer Stakes. The Grade 3 event for 2-year-olds is a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In race, meaning the winner will gain an automatic berth into the Grade 2 BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in November.

Stormy Lord came from the back of the pack to win his debut, which came on the grass July 18. Three weeks later, he switched to the Polytrack in the Vandal Stakes and wound up fifth after saving ground over an outside-biased track.

Stormy Lord won the allowance prep for the Summer on the lead, covering seven furlongs in 1:23.22 and earning an 81 Beyer Speed Figure.

Trainer Ian Black said he believes Stormy Lord is perfectly suited to turf racing.

"He has such great action," Black said. "Before I started him, I breezed him once on the training turf, and he traveled so good. There was a three-quarter-mile race sitting there on turf, so I started him off there. It was a long gap from there until the Summer Stakes prep, so we tried him on the Polytrack. Taking into account him being on the inside, it wasn't a terrible race, but his action isn't the same."

Black said he was surprised to see Stormy Lord forwardly placed in the prep.

"I was slightly concerned that he was a little too close to the pace, because he came from way back the first time," Black said. "You'd want to be careful about that against better horses."

Ruhtro saved ground on the turn before closing wide in the stretch to end up second in the prep. Trainer Mark Casse felt Ruhtro ran on the deepest part of the course then.

"I really believe there was an inside bias on the day of the prep," Casse said. "They had just taken the rail down, and if you were right on the rail, you weren't going even two inches into the turf. In the middle of the turf, you were going [much farther] in. Our plan was to come up the rail, but he couldn't get there."

Other contenders include the shippers Becky's Kitten and Bridgetown, both of whom are coming off a maiden win on the grass at Saratoga. Korvette Kid and Mobil Unit are each exiting a maiden victory on the local grass while earning a Beyer in the mid-70s.