08/19/2006 12:00AM

Weatherstorm Dowling favorite


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Weatherstorm will try to make it four in a row when he heads a field of 10 Michigan-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings in Tuesday's $50,000 Dowling Stakes at Great Lakes Downs. The Dowling, at one mile, is named for the late Jim Dowling, who is considered the father of Michigan racing.

Weatherstorm, trained by Bob Gorham for his sister Marion Gorham, has won both of his stakes tries this season at Great Lakes after being named the top juvenile at the 2005 meeting. He was beaten less than a length in his 2006 debut, but has been perfect since then, winning the Lansing and Spartan stakes as well as an allowance race over older competition.

An Island Storm gelding, Weatherstorm signaled his readiness for the Dowling with a bullet work on Aug. 14, going five furlongs in 1:03.60, just as he did before his Spartan win. Terry Houghton, the leading rider at the meet, has been the regular rider of Weatherstorm this year and will be back aboard for the Dowling. Weatherstorm, who won his division of the Michigan Sire Stakes last year, has earned $173,499 in seven career starts, easily the tops in this field.

Gorham will also saddle Shoot With Pride for owner Henry Mast and Out With a Bang for owner Judith Worline. Shoot With Pride was third to Weatherstorm in both the Lansing and the Spartan stakes before winning an allowance race on Aug. 1, his second score of the year. Freddie Mata will ride Shoot With Pride, and Jose Delgado will ride Out With a Bang.

Leading trainer Gerald Bennett is represented by Prince Nick, who was second to Weatherstorm in both the Spartan and Lansing. Mary Doser will ride Prince Nick, a homebred owned by Gene and Phyllis Gilmore.