04/01/2006 12:00AM

Chance to bet against Catalano


STICKNEY, Ill. - By any standards, trainer Wayne Catalano has had an excellent National Jockey Club, but even Catalano's two horses might not be enough to win Tuesday's featured fifth race here.

Catalano has a coupled entry for Tuesday's fifth, an entry-level 3-year-old route allowance with a $35,000 claiming option. Jockey Chris Emigh was named on both Ormond by the Sea and Chile's Quest, so one may scratch, but neither is a lock at a short price, though the Monday feature lacks both size and strength.

The Catalano outfit usually aligns its numbers ideally; wins outnumber places outnumber shows. But at this meet, the Catalano lines reads 29-8-11-5, and many of those second-place finishers went off at desperately low odds. No wonder the public likes to stand with Catalano; if you did all last year, you cashed on close to 40-percent of your tickets. But it also can pay to stand against Catalano, since so many of his entries are bet below fair value.

That certainly was the case with Ormond by the Sea in his last start. A horse who had outrun him when they had met a few weeks earlier, Perfect Harmony, was a distant second choice, but it was Ormond by the Sea who wound up a distant second-place at 4-5.

Ormond by the Sea seems better-suited to one-turn miles than true route races (keep him in mind for early in the Arlington meet), while Chile's Quest is stepping significantly up in class after finishing second in a four-horse $25,000 conditioned claimer. The positive thing about Chile's Quest, however, is that Team Catalano elects to step him up in class after a claim.

The horse to beat might be Ten Shades, though all he has done is win a maiden race via disqualification. In that race, Ten Shades was moving up the rail when Freedom Rules came over and, in the eyes of the stewards here, impeded Ten Shades. Ten Shades was placed first, but a horse who has never truly won at all might be the right horse for Tuesday's fifth.

- Three Hour Nap, who won the 2004 Arlington-Washington Futurity, is scheduled to start next in the April 22 National Jockey Club Handicap, trainer Hugh Robertson said. Three Hour Nap won a high-end allowance race Friday at Oaklawn, his first victory since he captured an overnight stakes last June at Arlington.