10/16/2008 11:00PM

Ex-maiden claimer Sugar Mom takes shot


Steve Leving, the racing manager for owner Frank Calabrese, was just trying to acquire a runner for the Arlington meet when he engineered the purchase of a maiden claimer named Sugar Mom over the summer.

"Stevie got her off a bloodstock agent because he thought she'd like the Poly and grass," trainer Wayne Catalano explained Friday.

What Leving, Catalano, and Calabrese ended up with is a Breeders' Cup horse. Sugar Mom won a $40,000 maiden claimer at Arlington in her first start carrying the Calabrese colors, and things have only snowballed from there.

"She fell on her head leaving the gate, circled the field, and won going away the first time she ran for us," Catalano said. "We started to think she might be all right."

All right, indeed. Sugar Mom went on to win an entry-level Arlington allowance race by 12 lengths in her two-turn debut, and then captured the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies by one length on Sept. 28, rallying strongly from the back of the pack. All her races have come on Polytrack, but now it is time to see if Sugar Mom can do as well on turf.

Sugar Mom was pre-entered in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf rather than the Juvenile Fillies because her connections think the turf race is the easier spot.

Although Sugar Mom was one of 21 pre-entries in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and is 13th on the list in a race restricted to 12 starters, she should get into the race, with two fillies ahead of her likely to opt for the Juvenile Fillies.

With this race in mind, Catalano made a point of breezing Sugar Mom on turf just before she left Arlington.

"I got on her myself," he said. "She went extremely well."

Sugar Mom and Catalano's other BC starter, Lewis Michael, will ship from Keeneland to Santa Anita on Sunday.