06/24/2001 11:00PM

Calabrese buys colt for $100k


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The result of the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Sale of 2-year-olds in training held Saturday night at Arlington Park mirrored many races here: Frank Calabrese came out on top.

The leading owner here last season, and with five wins already this meet, Calabrese shelled out $100,000 to buy an unnamed colt by the first-crop sire Victory Speech. And Calabrese's private trainer, Wayne Catalano, was unabashed in his appreciation of the colt Monday morning.

"We just got done training him," Catalano said. "Hopefully, we got another Crypto Star. He moves like it."

That's high praise, since Crypto Star, a multiple graded stakes winner who finished fifth in the 1997 Kentucky Derby, was one of the best horses Catalano has trained.

"He looks pretty good galloping," Catalano said. "In Kentucky or California he probably would have gone for twice this much."

The Victory Speech colt, out of the mare Thinkinaboutyou, impressed onlookers during the under-tack portion of the sale, where he worked a swift furlong. Catalano said he would slow down the colt's training right now, to "back down from the sale, where he was working real fast and all. Hopefully he could be ready later in the summer."

Hattiesburg's streak reaches four

Hattiesburg ran her streak of wins to four in Sunday's $54,000 Ribbon Stakes, an overnight sprint for 3-year-old fillies. A Mutakddim filly trained by Tom Amoss, Hattiesburg also has won three stakes races in a row.

Hattiesburg ($4) made a wide sweeping run around the turn, passing the seven fillies in front of her to take the lead at the stretch call. Sams Tune offered a bit of resistance in the stretch, but Hattiesburg clearly was going better and pulled away in late stretch, running seven furlongs in 1:23.60.

Three contenders hard to separate

Fort Metfield and Toll Booth Willie head a field of six $50,000 claimers in Wednesday's featured eighth race.

The nine-race program, the first in a new condition book, was difficult to fill. Though the racing office waited until late Sunday to draw the card, several short fields, including the feature, still arose.

Despite its size, the ninth may prove bettable because favoritism will split among Fort Metfield, Toll Booth Willie, and Pleasant Italian. On the basis of a good fifth-place finish facing better horses here opening day, his win in a high-end claiming race last month at Hawthorne, and his general fondness for Arlington's track, Fort Metfield is preferred. Jockey Randy Meier, widely acknowledged as the best speed rider in Chicago, breaks from post 1 and should have Fort Metfield prominently positioned throughout the race.