08/31/2009 11:00PM

Catalano holds strong hand

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Four-Footed Fotos
She Be Wild will go for three in a row in the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - She Be Wild made her first start in a $40,000 maiden claimer. She's not a classic-looking, imposing horse and is by the young, unheralded sire Offlee Wild. But ignore all that, says trainer Wayne Catalano. She Be Wild looks like the real deal.

"I really think this one's a good one," Catalano said, reached by phone early Tuesday afternoon. "She goes by the name Little Rachel."

That would be Rachel, as in Alexandra, and while She Be Wild has a million or so miles to go to hit that kind of performance level, it's true that she has done nothing wrong in two starts this summer at Arlington. Race No. 3 comes Saturday, when She Be Wild figures to be favored in the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

And if things go well, Catalano could be in for a bigger day than just that. Already the leading trainer here this summer - and probably with an insurmountable lead in the standings - Catalano also trains Dixie Band, the undefeated 2-year-old colt who looks like the horse to beat Saturday in the Arlington-Washington Futurity. Saturday's card, which will be drawn Wednesday, also includes a third Grade 3 race, the Washington Park Handicap.

She Be Wild won first time out by more than seven lengths and more than validated that maiden-claiming victory with a 5 1/4-length win in the Aug. 8 Top Flight, an overnight stakes prep for the Lassie. She Be Wild won in hand and came back to work a bullet five furlongs in 58.40 seconds on Aug. 23 in her first subsequent breeze. Sunday, she was second fastest of 50 five-furlong workers, with a snappy time of 1:00.80.

"We slowed her down a little," Catalano deadpanned. "The way she's breezing and training, and the way she does things, she looks good to me."

Dixie Band posted one of the best maiden wins of the summer here when he scored over 4 1/2 furlongs on June 21, and though he was more workmanlike than flashy, he also won his Aug. 8 overnight stakes prep for Saturday's graded stakes start. Dixie Band, Catalano has said, isn't dialed in the same way as She Be Wild, but he also has posted two works since his last start and "is getting better all the time," Catalano said.

While it probably will take something from out of town to beat Dixie Band, She Be Wild could get tested by locally based Tiz Miz Sue, a sharp maiden winner on Aug. 9.

Lord of the Game claimed, retired

Eight-year-old Lord of the Game was claimed twice during his improbable career. He was taken for $10,000 out of his debut at Hawthorne on Dec. 31, 2004, and he was claimed for $5,000 on Aug. 29 at Mountaineer Park, a race that will mark his career finale.

Maggi Moss is listed as Lord of the Game's new owner, Chris Englehart the new trainer, but Lord of the Game has raced for the last time, Moss said Tuesday. While he is still at Mountaineer, Lord of the Game is bound for Kentucky and retirement at WinStar Farm, the operation that bred the horse and lost him first time out at the claim box.

Moss recently claimed an old class horse named Tour of the Cat at Presque Isle Downs under similar circumstances, simply to take the horse off the track and put him out to pasture.

"I don't make a habit of it, but I do have the ability to claim horses that other people would like to retire," Moss said. "Name horses, famous horses, and horses that aren't so famous. My goal is to keep bringing attention to this and have other breeders and owners step up. You can't save them all, but if one or two people step up, it makes all the difference. WinStar really stepped up to the plate on this horse. I wish more horses were as wanted as him."

Lord of the Game retires with eight wins and $543,730 in career earnings. He was the best horse ever trained by longtime Chicagoan Tom Tomillo, and he put owner Bill Slevin firmly into the racing game. Lord of the Game won his debut by more than 22 lengths and won his first five races. After a defeat, Lord of the Game won the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap and the Grade 2 Corhusker Handicap and lost by a head in the 2005 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

But that, basically, was his last hurrah as a chronically bothersome tendon forced him to miss three years of racing. Lord of the Game came back this year at Fair Grounds for a new trainer but lost all five of his starts in 2009. He finished second in the Mountaineer race, only a shadow of his former self.