10/06/2008 12:00AM

Dreaming of Anna retires to breeding shed


STICKNEY, Ill. - The champion filly Dreaming of Anna, who began her career at Arlington Park and was among the best-known Chicago-based horses of recent years, has been retired from racing and shipped from Keeneland Race Course to Three Chimneys Farm, where she will become a broodmare this winter.

Dreaming of Anna ended her career on an off note, finishing sixth of seven last Friday in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. It was one of only three times in her 17-start career that she failed to finish third or better. In August, Dreaming of Anna had run a close fourth in the Grade 1 Beverly D.

Dreaming of Anna, a Frank Calabrese homebred and a sister to the high-class middle-distance horse Lewis Michael, is the rare horse who was precociousness enough to score impressive wins early in her 2-year-old season, but durable and substantive enough to continue racing at a high-class level for years afterward. She capped an undefeated 2-year-old campaign with a win in the 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and was a graded stakes winner on turf at both 3 and 4. Dreaming of Anna leaves the track with 10 wins and earnings of $2,024,550.

"She's happy, healthy, and sound," trainer Wayne Catalano said Monday afternoon.

Calabrese said he hadn't decided to whom Dreaming of Anna will be bred this season, but said he does plan to retain ownership of the filly.

"She's the biggest money winner I've owned, and she ranks right up there with my favorite horses," said Calabrese.

Meanwhile, seven days into the fall-winter meet here, Catalano finally won his first race of the Hawthorne meet on Saturday.

"We do the same thing every year, start out slow, but we end up at 30 or 35 percent," Catalano said. "We're still trying to win races at the end of the Arlington meet, so we don't go over to Hawthorne two or three weeks in advance and get works over the track."

Catalano got off the duck with the Calabrese-owned Rusty Bucket, who won the 10th race on Saturday in remarkable fashion. Rusty Bucket reared at the start, getting away close to 10 lengths behind the rest of field, and at the first call of the 6 1/2-furlong race, he trailed the leader by more than 20 lengths. One sustained seven-wide rally later, and Rusty Bucket was home by a half-length in a $5,000 conditioned claimer.

"I've never seen one win like that before," Catalano said.

Two tough-trip losers for Block

Hawthorne-based Chris Block had a pair of horses in turf stakes at Keeneland this past weekend, and their luck ranged from bad to abysmal. Illinois-bred standby Fort Prado got slammed at the start, lacked room in the stretch, and still finished third in Saturday's Woodford Stakes, a turf sprint. On Sunday, the 2-year-old colt Giant Oak suffered through a dreadful trip in the Bourbon Stakes, finishing eighth after being locked inside for more than a quarter-mile.

"One of the two worst trips I've ever had," Block said Monday afternoon. "I don't blame [jockey Edgar Prado] at all. There was nothing he could do."

Giant Oak had won his first two starts at Arlington this summer. Block said he would look at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf for Giant Oak, but also is considering taking the colt to train over the Churchill Downs main track with an eye on the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes next month.

Fort Prado now has turned in two representative performances after appearing to lose his form over the summer. Had Fort Prado not turned things around, he might have been retired this winter, but Block said there now is a good chance Fort Prado will return to race next year.

Stuck on the rail - again

How is it that some horses seem continuously to draw the rail, while others never land on the fence? This past spring, the allowance mare Highness drew the inside post four times in a row at Hawthorne and Arlington, and she has it again in the featured first race here Wednesday - the sixth time in 11 starts that Highness will break from the fence.

Highness was one of six horses entered in six-furlong second-level allowance, and other than her habit of settling for second in races she might have won, Highness looks tough here. She comes off five competitive Arlington races at this class level, and probably is a better horse on Hawthorne dirt than Arlington Polytrack. Her trainer, Roger Brueggemann, is off to a solid start at this meet.