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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/9/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


What a way for Arlington trainer champion Wayne Catalano and his wife Reneé to celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary!

Have your owner’s Eclipse-Award champion filly win one graded stakes on your home grounds, have your owner’s potential champion filly win another on the same program, and then establish all-time Arlington Park record for most wins by a trainer in a season (71) during that same triple stakes Saturday at Chicago’s showcase oval.

Catalano saddled Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Anna, the 2006 juvenile filly champ named for the owner’s late sister, to win Saturday’s Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington, and followed that act by saddling Calabrese’s Dreaming of Liz, the precocious youngster named for the owner’s late mother, to win the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie – Chicago’s main event for 2-year-old fillies.

Then, on Sunday morning, have both fillies doing well – with Dreaming of Anna slated to make her next appearance in Keeneland’s Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on the Lexington grass Oct. 13, and Dreaming of Liz being considered for Keeneland’s Grade I Alcibiades Oct. 5.

Also, as icing on Saturday’s cake, Catalano tied, broke and then re-broke his own record for most wins by any Arlington Park trainer in a single local season after saddling a training triple for the day.

“Dreaming of Anna is already a champion,” said Catalano Sunday, “so to have her come back and get a chance to be a champion again is the biggest thrill. And then, with Dreaming of Liz, to have the opportunity to do it all again by developing another champion – that’s the reason we’re all in this business – we all look forward to the future.

“As for the record (breaking Catalano’s 69-winner mark set in 2005), that’s not nearly as important to me,” said Catalano. “This business is all about the horses – not personal records.

“We have a lot of very good help back there,” concluded Catalano of his barn staff and Calabrese’s stable manager Steve Leving. “We’re a team, and I just appreciate the opportunity to work with the kind of horses Mr. Calabrese has given us.”


Owner James Montesano, whose maroon and gold silks race under the banner of Montesano Racing LLC, was presented with “Owner of the Month” honors last Friday, based on his eight winners from 38 starters during August.

Montesano Racing has maintained the second spot in the owner standings consistently during Arlington’s 2007 racing season, and had garnered 18 wins from 124 starters and purse earnings of $290,982 entering Sunday’s 89th day of a 94-day meeting this summer.

Veteran Arlington Park conditioner Jim DiVito, enjoying the best Arlington season of his career, was honored with “Trainer of the Month” honors Friday, after saddling seven winners from 22 starters during August – including B Jock LLC’s Piratesonthelake’s win in the $150,000 Arlington Sprint.

DiVito, 57, a native Chicagoan, has already saddled 18 winners this summer – twice as many as he had during the 2006 Arlington session – and had recorded purse earnings of $455,553 entering Sunday’s races.

Four-time Arlington Park jockey champion Rene Douglas, already assured his fifth local title when the season ends Sept. 16, earned “Jockey of the Month” honors after piloting 30 winners during that same time.


Arlington Park’s Pick 6 carryover pool grew to $17,925 when no one correctly picked all six winners on the same ticket during Saturday’s graded stakes-laced program.

The Arlington carryover pool is the second highest in North America entering Sunday’s many North American racing programs, and will begin with the fifth and end with the 10th and final race of the day.

In the Pick 6 wager, designed to allow fans to collect a large payoff for a very small investment, fans are asked to select the winners of six straight races on the same ticket. The minimum wager for a Pick 6 ticket is $2.

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