09/18/2006 11:00PM

Dreaming of Anna jumps into Cup fray


LAS VEGAS - The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies just got more interesting.

Point Ashley, who became the divisional leader with a smashing victory in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes during the last week at Del Mar, is the likely Juvenile Fillies favorite, but Dreaming of Anna - who remained undefeated with a dominating performance last Sunday in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes on grass at Woodbine over males - looms a legitimate threat, even though her preferred surface may be turf.

After Dreaming of Anna was scratched from the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes two weeks ago when the track came up sloppy, trainer Wayne Catalano always had the option of running her in the Summer Stakes. Beating males is one thing, but Dreaming of Anna easily defeated the previously undefeated Marcavelly (by Johannesburg) by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:35.03, blitzing the final quarter in 23 seconds flat over a turf course labeled firm. Marcavelly is out of a full sister to stakes winner Hidden Light, the dam of the 2005 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, Artie Schiller.

In her last start, Dreaming of Anna set a course record at Colonial Downs of 1:01.63 on turf while winning the 5 1/2-furlong Tippett Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths. She won her 4 1/2-furlong debut at Arlington Park on dirt by four lengths, and her pedigree suggests she is a threat on any surface.

Dreaming of Anna is by Rahy, who was a winning miler on dirt and turf. Like his sire, Blushing Groom, Rahy has been a versatile stallion, siring top-class winners on dirt and turf from six furlongs to 1 1/2 miles. His turf stars include Fantastic Light, Tranquility Lake, Noverre, Tates Creek, Designed for Luck, Hawksley Hill, and T.D. Vance. His best dirt runners include Serena's Song, Early Pioneer, Exotic Wood, Raw Gold, and Mariah's Storm (the dam of European champion and top stallion Giant's Causeway).

Dreaming of Anna is a full sister to this year's Peter Pan Stakes runner-up, Lewis Michael, who has also shown equal ability on dirt and turf. The siblings are out of Justenuffheart (Broad Brush), a half-sister to turf champion Kitten's Joy (El Prado) and stakes-placed Precious Kitten (Catienus). Dreaming of Anna's second dam, Kitten's First, is a half-sister to Grade 1 turf winner Down the Aisle.

A stakes-producing machine

Eighteen-year-old Win Crafty Lady (Crafty Prospector) was a multiple stakes winner, and her black-type victories included the Interborough Breeders' Cup. A half-sister to stakes winner and sire Diligence (Miswaki), she has become a spectacular broodmare, producing stakes winners by a variety of stallions: Graeme Hall (Dehere), Harmony Lodge (Hennessy), Wins Fair Lady (Dehere). Last weekend, she got her fourth stakes winner when Win McCool (Giant's Causeway) won the Floral Park Handicap. Win McCool previously placed in the Nassau County Breeders' Cup Stakes.

Graeme Hall won the Arkansas Derby and Jim Dandy stakes at 3 and the Eclipse and Stuyvesant handicaps at 4. He also finished second to Left Bank in the Cigar Mile. One of this year's most promising freshmen sires, he currently ranks sixth (behind Johannesburg, Officer, E. Dubai, Orientate, and Three Wonders) and has 11 winners from 15 starters.

Harmony Lodge inherited the high speed of her sire, Hennessy, and was also a multiple stakes winner. Her most important victory was in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes.

Wins Fair Lady won minor stakes but sold in foal to Giant's Causeway earlier this year for $2.3 million. The resulting foal will be closely related to Win McCool.

Mile or Turf for Showing Up?

Trainer Barclay Tagg indicated he is likely to choose the Breeders' Cup Turf rather than the Breeders' Cup Mile for his talented 3-year-old Showing Up. While he was a game third in his first start against older grass runners in the Man o' War Stakes at 1 3/8 miles, Showing Up may be better suited to the Mile.

Showing Up has considerable tactical speed - inherited from his front-running, turf stakes-winning sire, Strategic Mission (Mr. Prospector) - and while the Mile is always the most competitive of all the Breeders' Cup races, he would be more of a threat in it than the Turf, where he would meet older European stayers who specialize at the 1 1/2-mile distance, such as the 2005 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, Hurricane Run, and Shirocco, last year's winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf.

A Mile showdown featuring Showing Up, the best 3-year-old turf horse in the United States; Aragorn, the best older turf miler in the States; and Librettist, a winner of 7 of 8 starts and undefeated this year at age 4 in Europe (including victories in the prestigious Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and Prix du Moulin), would make great theater.