08/14/2007 11:00PM

Catalano sees another force


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Dreaming of Anna ran her best race of the year winning the Virginia Oaks last month, and she is headed to the Pucker Up Stakes on Sept. 8. Lewis Michael just aired in the Washington Park Handicap, and could be on track for a start in the Dubai World Cup. And to hear trainer Wayne Catalano talk, he and owner Frank Calabrese have added a third horse to the upper echelon of their rampaging stable.

Dreaming of Liz, a 2-year-old Calabrese homebred by El Prado and out of the Grade 1-winning mare Silver Maiden, captured a maiden race on Friday by seven lengths, leading at every call despite stumbling at the start, and winning as jockey E.T. Baird pleased.

"She just two-minute-clipped, it looked like to me," Catalano said.

If all goes well, Dreaming of Liz will make her next start Sept. 8 in the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes here. Dreaming of Anna skipped that race last year, prepping for her win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in a Woodbine grass race.

Dreaming of Liz had finished a nondescript fourth in career debut last month, but Catalano said that "she needed a race to help her get an education."

"I thought a race would help her more than my training," said Catalano. "She was looking for a wake-up call, and she got it. This is going to be a nice filly."

Lewis Michael, meanwhile, breezed a solid five furlongs Saturday, his first work since the Washington Park, but there are no short-term plans for the horse.

Catalano won eight races last week, giving him 57 for the meet, and putting him on track to eclipse his 2002 record for wins during an Arlington season, 69. Calabrese also has a good chance to break his single-season owner's mark of 66.

Seven entered in Oaks

Dreaming of Anna, who breezed five furlongs Wednesday, also had been nominated to Saturday's Arlington Oaks, but she was not among the seven 3-year-old fillies entered in that 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race.

The field for the local Oaks consists of Aspiring, Humble Janet, Kiss with a Twist, Marietta, Marquee Delivery, Marquise, and Mini Sermon.

Mini Sermon figures to be the favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher. A Pulpit filly bred and owned by Edward Evans, Mini Sermon lost the first two starts of her career this year, but has reeled off four straight wins, including a one-length victory here July 28 in the Sweetest Chant, the Arlington Oaks prep.

Four breakdowns

The sight of four horses failing to finish races in two days last week dredged up unpleasant memories of last season, when Arlington breakdowns put the track surface here under close scrutiny, but Arlington made it through Million weekend without further incident.

Two horses racing Thursday on Polytrack suffered leg injuries and were pulled up and vanned off, and a third horse Friday, Carmel My Belle, broke down badly in the second race. A race later, Shake went down on the backstretch, but he was the victim of a pulmonary hemorrhage rather than a leg injury.

Plans for Lovango not set

Hugh Robertson said there were no immediate plans for Lovango, whose seven-furlong time of 1:21.02 in Saturday's Forward Pass Stakes established a standard for Arlington's Polytrack. Lovango, making his first Polytrack start, won the Forward Pass by eight lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

Lovango, trained by Robertson's son, Mac, but based at Arlington, had finished second in the Arlington Classic on turf, but was done in by a pace duel in the American Derby, tiring to sixth. In his final start at the Oaklawn meet this past spring, he won a two-turn allowance race by more than five lengths.