09/05/2007 11:00PM

'Anna' has some hurdles to overcome


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Frank Calabrese just eclipsed his own record for wins by an owner at an Arlington meet, and to accumulate 67 victories in about four months, Calabrese has sent out all manner of claiming horses. But Saturday at Arlington is different. Calabrese has potential favorites in two of the three graded stakes on the card: Dreaming of Anna in the Pucker Up and Dreaming of Liz in the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

"I like winning any race, but I like these two horses especially," Calabrese said.

Calabrese bred both fillies, though he no longer owns Dreaming of Anna's dam, Justenuffheart. Dreaming of Liz's dam, Silver Maiden, is one of only two Calabrese broodmares, but his handful of homebreds have run like crazy the last couple years. Lewis Michael, another Calabrese homebred, won the Washington Park Handicap here last month.

"If you have a good mare and you breed to the right sire, I think you've got a good chance," Calabrese said.

Dreaming of Anna took Calabrese to the Breeders' Cup last year, winning the Juvenile Fillies to cap an unbeaten season. And while Dreaming of Anna lost her first three races this year, she has gotten back on track with victories in her last two starts - an overnight stakes on the Arlington turf and more recently the $210,000 Virginia Oaks on July 21.

The last win showed Dreaming of Anna can handle the 1 1/8-mile trip of the Pucker Up, but she is no cinch to have an easy time Saturday. The Pucker Up drew a field of 13, with Dreaming of Anna and jockey E.T. Baird out in post 10. Wider still, in the 13-hole, is another major player, Pitamakan, who - like Dreaming of Anna - prefers to go about her business on the front end. Based with Bill Mott's Keeneland string, Pitamakan has gone 3 for 3 this year after losing her lone start at 2. She has led gate to wire in two Arlington victories, the first a turf allowance and more recently over Polytrack in the Hatoof Stakes.

You Go West Girl finished fast for second in the Hatoof and shows good turf form from earlier this year. Unlike Pitamakan, she squeezed in a published workout between races. Ciao didn't fire in the Virginia Oaks, but has run well enough in the past to factor Saturday. German invader Touch My Soul is a Group 3 winner and "an awesome-looking horse," according to Barry Irwin, who manages the Team Valor partnership which co-owns her. Testama, another European, has been more a listed-stakes type.

The unbeaten West Coast Swing is unlikely to start if the Pucker Up stays on turf, trainer Shannon Ritter said.