10/04/2010 3:23PM

Coo C Note looking sharp


STICKNEY, Ill. – During Hawthorne’s opening two-day racing week, the main track played like a plowed field. Even winners labored home with slow closing fractions. Redding Colliery won the Hawthorne Gold Cup running a final quarter-mile in more than 27 seconds because no one could finish fast enough to come get him. The turf course? Entirely different story. After a wet early summer, Chicago has seen a sustained period of little rain, and even some precipitation Friday night and Saturday did little to soften the ground. Turf times here opening week were quick, both fractionally and final, but a fast turf course is not a biased turf course. That’s too bad, because a turf bias might give some direction in the very tough-to-figure featured ninth race on Wednesday.

The race, for first-level allowance horses, has a full field of 12 plus two also-eligibles, and Corredor Dela Isla was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite. But Corredor Dela Isla also drew post 12, no-man’s land with a short run to the first turn, and will need much racing luck to triumph, even if he looks highly competitive on paper. There’s another angle to consider here, too. Wayne Catalano ran wild at the Arlington meeting – as usual – but this would not be the first time the Catalano stable cools considerably moving across Chicagoland to Hawthorne. Catalano sent out five starters opening week, and earned only a place and a show from those runners.

The pick to win featured race 9 is Cool C Note, partly because he is in strong form, and partly because he won his only prior start over the Hawthorne turf. Cool C Note, who won a turf sprint here in the spring, compiled a 1-1-1 record from 3 starts at Arlington. He was outfinished last start by an improving horse named Tonto Fontenot, but might hang on to win Wednesday. Cool C Note got in a solid-looking five-furlong work since shipping over from Arlington, and should hold his form.

But other possibilities – many of them – exist. Bell by the Ridge was fifth behind Cool C Note last out and fourth behind Corredor Dela Isla two races ago, but with only three career turf starts, he still has room to improve. Jozbin Santana, who put together a five-win opening week to lead the jockey standings, has the call.

Also worth considering is rail-drawn Quality Diplomat, who won his career debut, a turf sprint at Arlington, and was rained off grass in his only other race. Quality Diplomat should make the lead, and can stay there for quite some time if he is not pushed too hard in the early going.