07/22/2007 11:00PM

Dreaming of Anna back to old ways


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Certainly it was nothing to rival her triumph last fall in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but Dreaming of Anna's good win Saturday in the Virginia Oaks was cause for celebration among her connections.

It was the first really good race of 2007 for Dreaming of Anna, who disappointed over the winter at Gulfstream, failed to fire in the Kentucky Oaks, and looked only average winning an overnight turf stakes race last month at Arlington. But trainer Wayne Catalano had maintained for the last several weeks that Dreaming of Anna was training like her old self again, and she proved him right Saturday, beating a solid group at Colonial Downs in front-running fashion.

"She's back," Catalano said Monday morning. "She's been training too good not to be. When she worked that seven-eighths in [1:25], I said she was back. Sometimes you just got to hit the reset button with these horses."

Runner-up New Edition cut into Dreaming of Anna's margin over the last furlong in the nine-furlong Virginia Oaks, and Dreaming of Anna appeared to do her best work during the race's fourth quarter-mile. But Catalano insisted the filly "had plenty left" at the finish, and that she had shown nine furlongs to be well within her scope. That is why the Grade 3 Pucker Up, a nine-furlong grass race at Arlington with a $200,000 purse on Sept. 8, could be the next spot for Dreaming of Anna.

Dreaming of Anna returned to Arlington by van Sunday, and appeared to have come out of Saturday's race in good shape.

"She licked the feed tub after the race, and she licked it when she got home," Catalano said.

Lewis Michael eyes Washington Park

Meanwhile, Dreaming of Anna's 4-year-old brother, Lewis Michael, has jumped back onto the list of possible starters for Saturday's Washington Park Handicap, Catalano said. Lewis Michael and Dreaming of Anna both are Frank Calabrese-owned homebreds.

The plan with Lewis Michael, a sharp one-mile Polytrack allowance-race winner here July 15, had been to go to the Sea O'Erin, a one-mile grass race on Arlington Million Day, Aug. 11. But with Saturday's $300,000 Washington Park decidedly lacking in star power, and Lewis Michael a developing force on Polytrack, Catalano said the Washington Park is under consideration.

"We're going to two-minute-clip him," Tuesday, Catalano said. "We're going to get him ready, be all ready to go, and then see how the field looks. I know its back kind of quick, but sometimes you can do that."

Arlington racing officials are expecting a field of eight to 10 when entries for the Grade 2, $300,000 Washington Park are taken Wednesday.

Secretariat next for Lattice

Trainer Bill Mott said he plans to send Lattice, a sharp winner of the American Derby on Saturday, back for the Aug. 11 Secretariat.

Well behind a dawdling pace when he finished fourth in this stakes debut, the June 16 Jefferson Cup, Lattice stuck much closer to a quick pace Saturday, making a strong move coming off the turn to post a three-quarters length win over Going Ballistic. It was Mott's third straight win in the American Derby, and looked like something of a breakthrough performance for Lattice, who has made only five career starts, winning three of them.

"I thought he ran well," Mott said. "It looked like he idled a little bit when he made the lead, but, other than that, he was professional about everything."

Lattice, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, has shipped back to Mott's Keeneland string and will return just before his next start here.

Cosmonaut set for Arlington Million

Cosmonaut, who won his second straight Arlington Handicap with a front-running victory Saturday, also has returned to his Keeneland base, but will be back for the Arlington Million, trainer Patrick Biancone said.

"He came out of the race well," Biancone said. "He had lost a little bit of weight, which is normal for a race like that. He won easily, but a race is a race."

Cosmonaut finished fifth, beaten by about two lengths, in the 2006 Million, and so far has not quite been able to crack the elite ranks of U.S. turf horses.

"Hopefully, one day we'll get lucky," Biancone said. "If he gets a lucky trip, and somebody else doesn't have it."

Biancone also said Lady of Venice, a brilliant winner of the CashCall Mile last out, would make her next start in the Beverly D. That sets up an intriguing showdown with Citronnade, considered by many to be the leading female grass runner in the country right now.

Bridge Game unlikely for Beverly D.

Graham Motion, meanwhile, said he was unlikely to send Saturday's Modesty Handicap winner Bridge Game back for the Beverly D. Bridge Game won her first stakes race despite flipping over repeatedly in the Arlington paddock while being readied for the race.

"She's just very quirky," Motion said.

Motion said he would consider Rosinka for the Beverly D. Better Talk Now remains more likely to start in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga than to come to Arlington for the Million, he said.

Plenty of speed in sprint allowance

A surplus of front-runners in Wednesday's featured eighth race could set the table for a closer, but which one?

Bettors figure to gravitate to Todd Pletcher-trained, Rene Douglas-ridden Justa Streak in the Wednesday feature, a six-furlong Polytrack sprint for second-level allowance horses. But the Churchill Downs invader Polarity, who comes from the Bob Holthus stable, might provide more bang for the buck as an off-the-pace threat. Illinois-bred Mighty Rule, who already has won a race under Wednesday's conditions, also is a logical contender.