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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (10/26/06)

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Dreaming of Breeders’ Cup Glory

Chicago-Based Filly Dreaming of Anna on Target for Juvenile Fillies

Trainer Wayne Catalano reports that his undefeated 2-year-old Dreaming of Anna, a top contender for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, is training “unbelievably well” in advance of her Championship Day start on November 4 at Churchill Downs.

“I’ve been with her morning, noon and night for three weeks and am extremely happy with the way she’s doing,” Catalano said from Keeneland, where the daughter of Rahy has been training. “She’s twice the filly she was a couple of months ago.”

Twice of what she has been would make her pretty darn good.

Dreaming of Anna has yet to taste defeat from three career starts for owner Frank Calabrese, breaking her maiden in a dirt dash in May at Arlington and following up with a pair of stakes wins on turf. In her initial victory on grass, she broke the Colonial Downs course record for 5 ½ furlongs, and last time out, she won the Grade III Summer Stakes over a one-turn mile at Woodbine with relative ease. Rene Douglas rode that day, and he gets the return call for the Breeders’ Cup.

This past Sunday, Dreaming of Anna worked seven furlongs over a fast Polytrack at Keeneland in 1:24. Catalano caught her galloping out the mile in 1:37.

“If all goes according to plan, we’ll work her 5/8ths at Churchill on the 29th,” said Catalano, whose only previous Breeders’ Cup run produced a fourth place finish with Tamweel in the 2004 Distaff. “There’s a lot of rain in the area, so we’ll have to be flexible.”

Despite never being tested around two turns, Dreaming of Anna has been installed as Mike Watchmaker’s 3-1 favorite in the early Daily Racing Form line. The official Breeders’ Cup morning-line will be calculated when the horses are officially entered next Wednesday.

“We run favorites, that’s what we do,” said Catalano, who is winning races at a 33 percent clip for the year. “I’d rather be 3-1 than 30-1.”

He may have one of each.

While there’s little doubt that Dreaming of Anna will be one of the top choices in the Juvenile Fillies, her full brother Lewis Michael would be an outsider should he make it into the Grade I Mile on turf. He’s the fourth horse down the list on the outside looking in, and will need a couple of defections in order draw in.

“A couple of those ahead of us have first preferences in other races, so there’s an outside chance we’ll get in,” Catalano said.

The 3-year-old colt Lewis Michael’s only win from eight starts this season came in a second-level allowance over a one-turn dirt mile at Arlington, but he also has a second place finish in the Grade II Peter Pan at Belmont on his resume. He has shown equal ability on turf and dirt, and Catalano believes he can surprise some people on Breeders’ Cup Day.

“We think he earned a shot off that seven furlong race at Keeneland,” Catalano said of Lewis Michael’s second place performance in the Grade III Perryville on October 13. “We hooked a bear (Midnight Lute) that day.”

If Lewis Michael doesn’t make it into the Mile, the connections will opt instead for a start in the $150,000 Commonwealth Stakes for 3-year-olds over the Churchill grass on November 11.

The 2006 fall Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne Race Course runs September 15 through January 1 with live racing five days per week – Wednesday through Sunday (except Nov. 23). The dark days are Monday and Tuesday (except Oct. 9 and Jan.1). Post time on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday is 1:10 p.m. Friday post time through November 17 is 3 p.m., at which time it will revert back to 1:10 p.m. for the remainder of the meet.

Hawthorne’s races can be seen live on Horse Racing Television (HRTV). HRTV provides full, in-depth coverage of the current Hawthorne Race Course meeting, with complete post parades, and expert analysis from the network's hosts.

Hawthorne’s spring 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run February 23 thru May 3. The summer 2007 Standardbred meet will be held June 22 thru August 5. The fall 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run September 17 thru December 31.

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