06/30/2010 11:00PM

Stormy Lord sharp for Charlie Barley


Stormy Lord came into his current campaign as a Queen's Plate candidate after finishing a close second here in the Coronation Futurity over 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack last November.

But after watching Stormy Lord finish last of six when making his 2010 debut in the seven-furlong Queenston, trainer Ian Black hit the reset button and Stormy Lord is coming into Saturday's $100,000 Charlie Barley as the one to beat.

The Charlie Barley, an open 3-year-old stakes at one mile on the grass, attracted a field of eight. Stormy Lord is coming off a solid score in the seven-furlong turf allowance prep here June 11.

"He definitely prefers the turf," said Black, who sent out Stormy Lord to score twice on the grass here last summer and to run well in the one-mile Summer and 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer stakes.

Stormy Lord, making his second start of the year in that allowance race, led throughout under regular rider Jim McAleney.

"The horse was a little headstrong early, but he settled for him," said Black. "He did it nicely, and he came back to work very well."

That work came last Saturday, as Stormy Lord breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 on the training track turf course.

Arrow's Conquest, a Sam-Son Farm homebred who is trained by Malcolm Pierce, also was nominated to the Queen's Plate. But he did not make it to the races until June 19, when he contested a difficult seven-furlong maiden race.

That debut turned a few heads, however, as Arrow's Conquest lost position while on the inside around the turn but moved to the outside and rolled to a convincing 1 1/4-length victory under Patrick Husbands.

"I thought he was a nice prospect, but he even impressed me," said Pierce. "I didn't think he'd win like that, and it looked fairly easy."

While Pierce is concerned about the two-week turnaround, he is confident that the move to turf will not be a problem.

"He had worked very well on the grass," said Pierce, who sent out Arrow's Conquest to drill five furlongs in 1:00.80 on May 19.

King's Command, beaten 1 1/2 lengths as the runner-up in the prep when making his turf debut, is one of two runners in the Charlie Barley for trainer Mark Casse.

So Elite, coming off an impressive first-level allowance victory for Casse over 1 1/8 miles of Polytrack, ran second on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs this winter.