05/01/2008 12:00AM

Dreaming of Anna tackles tougher


Prior to the March 15 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa, trainer Wayne Catalano told owner Frank Calabrese that Dreaming of Anna was "better than she's ever been." Catalano was proven right when Dreaming of Anna roared to a 6 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 race while earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

Catalano said he feels very much the same way about Dreaming of Anna, North America's champion 2-year-old filly of 2006, entering the Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Turf Mile, where she will meet a significantly tougher group in the one-mile race.

Catalano's confidence in the filly stems from her most recent work at Keeneland in which Dreaming of Anna drilled a half-mile in 46.20 seconds with the 145-pound Catalano in the irons. It was the best of 60 breezes at the distance.

"She worked very good without company, without a stick, without urging," Catalano said. "She came out of the work good, now we're in."

Dreaming of Anna, who has 7 wins from 9 turf starts, will break from the outside post in the nine-horse field. Bayou's Lassie, who makes her first start for trainer Dale Romans, looms as a pace factor from post 7.

"I like being on the outside looking in instead of the inside looking out," Catalano said. "I see some other speed in there so we can do what we need to do. I feel comfortable about that."

Sharp Susan is 2 for 2 at a mile and just beat next-out stakes winner Criminologist in an April 6 allowance race at Keeneland. Under Kent Desormeaux, Sharp Susan figures to be stalking Dreaming of Anna and Bayou Lassie.

Ventura is 2 for 2 since coming to this country and trainer Bobby Frankel. She should be coming late under Garrett Gomez. Danzon, third to colts in the Grade 1 Turf Classic last year on Derby Day, makes her second start off a layoff for Todd Pletcher.