07/31/2012 3:21PM

Arlington: Catalano out to keep hot streak going


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – It was some kind of four-day run for trainer Wayne Catalano last week at Arlington Park. Catalano got the racing week started by winning four races from eight runners on Thursday’s program, and by the time Sunday’s card concluded the Catalano stable had put together a weeklong record of 6-2-2 from 15 starts while taking over first place in the trainer standings.

This week also could begin well for Catalano, who sends out Honey Chile as the horse to beat in the featured first race on Thursday at Arlington. Catalano has entrants in five races Thursday, while Thursday’s nine-race program includes five allowance races, making this the best weekday card of the 2012 race meet.

Honey Chile, a 4-year-old Invisible Ink filly owned by James Miller, should be tough in the opener, a 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack dash open to $80,000 claimers and horses eligible under three different high-end allowance conditions. Honey Chile qualifies under all three of them, including the one for horses who haven’t won a race in 2012, but this spot marks Honey Chile’s second allowance try of the year compared to six runs in stakes races. The last two were of the Grade 3 variety, and Honey Chile actually held well for fourth in the June 30 Chicago Handicap, a race in which she set a hot early pace. There appears to be less speed – as well as less talent – in Thursday’s first race, and if allowed to comfortably cruise through the opening half-mile, Honey Chile may prove tough to run down.

Several will have a reasonable chance to run down the early leader. Lady Chesterfield finished just a half-length behind Honey Chile in the Chicago ‘Cap, while Palazzo Babe has turf form good enough to contend but no races on a synthetic surface. Remembermealways and Algonquin Posse both have won twice at the meet but face tougher competition now. Cascadilla Falls ships from Churchill Downs for trainer Bill Mott and was a decent second in April 2011 at Keeneland in making her only previous synthetic-surface start.

Race 4, a second-level Polytack sprint allowance, features the comeback of Rocket Twentyone, who has lost all four of her starts since she captured the Arlington-Washington Lassie here late last summer.

There are plenty of ways to go in race 5, a second-level Illinois-bred turf-route allowance that’s the cashing leg of the early pick 4. Real Power fell too far behind a slow pace before rallying for third in his most recent start, and he should have a good chance to tally for a win Thursday if kept closer to the early leaders.