06/14/2005 12:00AM

Can Midas touch invigorate Injustice?

My Trusty Cat comes into Saturday's Chicago BC Handicap off a win in the Humana Distaff.

CHICAGO - Trainer Wayne Catalano is on a losing streak. As of Sunday, it had grown to two races.


The bar actually hasn't been set that high yet - but it's getting there. After losing with his first two starters this meet, Catalano won with seven of his next nine. He hasn't sent out more than three losers in a row all meet. Most of his horses have been favored, and after consecutive Catalano losses following Primm's sharp win in a turf-claimer here Saturday, a wise guy might joke that Cat had gone cold.

Since the Arlington meet began May 13, he has won 17 races from only 42 starters - and surprised no one in doing so. With 431 victories, Catalano has more Arlington wins than any active trainer save Harvey Vanier, whose day-to-day involvement is waning. Catalano has been leading trainer here three of the last five years. His primary client, Frank Calabrese, is the perennial leading owner.

"We're having fun," Catalano said Tuesday morning, still with a touch of stress in his voice. "Mr. Calabrese's horses are running good. We're doing good."

Catalano appears to crave action, and he's getting it. Eighteen of the horses he has started here have been claimed. He has claimed 10 others, and bought five more privately for Calabrese.

But when Catalano makes a foray into graded stakes competition in Saturday's Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap, it will be with Injustice, who is owned in partnership by Turf Express Inc. and Darrell and Evelyn Yates. Injustice worked three furlongs in 37 seconds on Tuesday, cementing a berth in the Grade 3, $175,000 Chicago BC, for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

"She worked real good, nice and relaxed, perfect," Catalano said.

Injustice has lost her last two starts, finishing off the board in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails and third in a high-end Churchill Downs allowance race. Strictly a sprinter earlier in her career, Injustice won the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes over 1 1/16 miles in March at Oaklawn.

"You're thinking, she ran so good, she could do it again," said Catalano.

But in the recent losses Injustice looked like a horse with distance limitations; the return to a sprint could boost her performance.

"She can be in the garden spot, hopefully, and then she's got to step up," Catalano said.

With Injustice in, the Chicago BC field grows to a probable seven, topped by the excellent closing sprinter My Trusty Cat, who won the Grade 1 Humana Distaff last time out, and took the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga last season. My Trusty Cat has the class, and Happy Ticket adds the intrigue.

Happy Ticket is a Louisiana-bred who has won the first eight starts of her career, prompting comparisons with Hallowed Dreams, another Louisiana-bred, who won her first 16 races. Halfway there, Happy Ticket already has done something Hallowed Dreams never did - leave the Ark-La-Tex circuit to take on a higher class of racehorse.

Tisket a Tasket back after long break

After two wins, two seconds, and two horribly unlucky trips on turf, Tisket a Tasket stood on the threshold of her 4-year-old season with plenty of upside. Then came a Dec. 30 clunker at Fair Grounds - a distant sixth-place finish as the favorite - and nearly six months away from the races.

Tisket a Tasket returns Thursday in Arlington's featured eighth race, and based on her 2004 form and a strong workout pattern, she looks like the right horse for a second-level allowance carded for about 1 1/16 miles on turf.

There's no rain forecast for race day, but it doesn't really matter, since Tisket a Tasket runs on anything. She hasn't won yet on grass, but there were reasons for that. Last November at Churchill, Tisket a Tasket somehow ended up 10 paths off the rail for her stretch run. In an entry-level allowance here in September, she got into more traffic than a commuter leaving Chicago at 4 p.m. on a summer Friday.

The Thursday feature, though, is pretty good. It also includes Anegada, who beat Tisket a Tasket in that Churchill race in November, and is better than her ninth-place finish last out at Churchill; Jennie R., a good second last out in her grass debut; and Stormybdancing, who has hit the board several times at this class level.

Straight Line headed to Ohio or Iowa

Straight Line breezed an easy half-mile in 49.20 seconds on Tuesday, his first work since an impressive comeback win in a one-mile allowance race here June 4.

"We'll come back and give him a little more serious work next time," trainer Brian Williamson said. "He ran fast, and he got a little hot in the paddock, which is why I kind of waited to breeze him. He was full of himself today."

Straight Line is headed either to the Ohio Derby or the Iowa Derby for his next start.