03/12/2008 11:00PM

Dreaming of Anna faces familiar foe


OLDSMAR Fla. - While the star of Saturday's racing program will be War Pass in the Tampa Bay Derby, the supporting features on the 13-race card have come up strong in their own right, topped by the return to Tampa of Dreaming of Anna in the Grade 3, $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes.

There are two other stakes on the card, including the Grade 3 Florida Oaks, which pits Calico Bay, an eye-catching winner of the filly division of the OBS Championship at Ocala, against My Baby Baby, who was beaten just a length in the Suncoast Stakes here while making the jump up from maiden company.

The card also includes the $75,000 Turf Dash, in which Tampa sprint king Lookingforthesecret will go for his fifth straight win locally while facing his stiffest test yet.

The Hillsborough, a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares, shapes up as a rematch between Dreaming of Anna and Lear's Princess, who finished noses apart in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes here on Feb. 16, the first start of the season for both 4-year-old fillies. In the 1 1/16-mile Endeavour, Dreaming of Anna led from the start but just barely held off the late rally of Lear's Princess.

While the course was firm that day, it did have a little give to it, and with the forecast calling for some showers on Friday there's a possibility the course will be something other than firm on Saturday.

Wayne Catalano, the trainer of Dreaming of Anna, is confident coming into the Hillsborough.

"Everything is better for her going into this race since she got that race under her belt," Catalano said. "Obviously, Lear's Princess will be tough, but we proved we could beat her once and we'll beat her again."

The Endeavour was the sixth win from eight lifetime turf tries for Dreaming of Anna, who also counts the Grade 3 Pucker Up at Arlington and Grade 3 Summer Stakes at Woodbine among her grass wins. Winner of the 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on the dirt and champion juvenile filly of that year, Dreaming of Anna has fulfilled Catalano's prediction that as she grew older, her future would lie on the turf.

Lear's Princess was game in defeat in the Endeavour, which was her third lifetime turf start. Winner of the Grade 1 Gazelle last season, she also ran second to Octave in the Grade 1 Coaching Club Oaks and second to Lady Joanne in the Grade 1 Alabama.

Oaks: Calico Bay back on dirt

In the 1 1/16-mile Oaks, Calico Bay will be attempting to replicate her dazzling performance over the synthetic track at Ocala, where she blew past the leaders to post an authoritative eight-length victory in the $100,000 OBS Championship. Her trainer, Bill Kaplan, said his filly will like the distance and not have trouble handling the change in surface.

"She ships well and handles different tracks well, like she did at Ocala," Kaplan said. "She'll like the distance; the longer the better for her. We're hoping to use this race as a stepping-stone for the Ashland or the Kentucky Oaks."

My Baby Baby romped home an easy maiden winner at Gulfstream Park for trainer Ken McPeek, then came right back against stakes company in the Suncoast, dueling for the lead into deep stretch before finishing a length back.

* In the five-furlong Turf Dash, Lookingforthesecret will face Fort Prado, The Nth Degree, Around the Cape - who was unlucky not to win this race last season - and Blue Pepsi Lodge, but still looms the horse to beat as he goes for his 16th win from 31 starts.

- additional reporting

by Mike Welsch