05/16/2012 1:58PM

Arlington: Ann of the Dance has strong work for feature

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The 3-year-old filly Ann of the Dance doesn’t tower over her opponents in Arlington’s featured first race on Friday.

Figuratively, she’s a 3-year-old facing older foes for the first time, and her most recent race, in March at Gulfstream, might have been the worst of an eight-start career.

Literally, Ann of the Dance has not sprouted up since she last raced in Chicago, finishing a closing third Sept. 10 in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie. There are breeds of massive dog that stand nearly the same height at the shoulder as Ann of the Dance did at age 2, and her new trainer, Wayne Catalano, said the filly’s size hasn’t changed.

“She hasn’t grown much,” Catalano said.

Ann of the Dance, by English Channel, was trained by Jim DiVito during her fine, two-win summer campaign here last season. She was sold privately to Chasing Tails Stable and turned over to trainer Marty Wolfson before a 13th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and finished third, fifth, and eighth in three Florida starts before being sent to Catalano at Keeneland in early April. Ann of the Dance worked once in Kentucky and twice at Arlington preparing for Friday’s start, most recently going a half-mile in 47.80 seconds, the fastest of 45 such works on May 13 at Arlington.

“That was a very good work,” said Catalano. “She galloped out real nice.”

Ann of the Dance drew the rail and has five rivals in a second-level allowance race also open to $40,000 claimers and carded for a one-turn mile on Polytrack, a surface over which she has twice won.

“I think it’s a race she can win,” Catalano said. “We’ve got to run her somewhere, and there’s nowhere to run unless you go in a stakes, and I’d like to get her in a winning spot first.”

Three other horses - Globe Trot, Missed the Point, and Kitten’s Dancer – exit the same 1 1/8-mile Keeneland allowance race from April 21. Globe Trot, trained by Dale Romans, was only sixth in the race, but has since turned in a fast Churchill work in mud, and might appreciate cutting back to a shorter race Friday. Missed the Point was a distant second in an Arlington one-turn mile last season, while Temparnillo was in good form through the winter and into the spring while racing steadily at Tampa Bay Downs.