11/15/2003 1:00AM

Hawthorne: 'Crazy' connects at 36-1

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STICKNEY, Ill. - Owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano love a sure thing. All summer at Arlington, they send out horses to win claiming races at desperately short odds.

Saturday at Hawthorne, they played a much different game, taking a stab in the $100,000 Hawthorne Oaks with the 36-1 shot Beautiful Crazy, who got up by a head and lit up the board, paying $75.40 to win.

"I could've been a goat, but I guess I'm the hero," Catalano said.

The Hawthorne track was deep, slow and tiring. When the surface gets this way, local horses have an advantage, exactly what Catalano had hoped. Beautiful Crazy was coming off five starts on turf, and had only an entry-level allowance victory to her credit, but she seemed to like Hawthorne's main track.

"She's been training so good here," said Catalano. "She's here, it's straight 3-year-olds - I've got to take a shot."

As the horses came to the the far turn, Justin Vitek, riding Beautiful Crazy, kept his spot closer to the rail, and just as he was shuffled back to last near the quarter pole, Vitek asked his mount for run. She split horses as Cloakof Vagueness surged to the lead, and at the furlong pole, as Cloakof Vagueness ducked out a bit from the whip, Beautiful Crazy switched leads and edged forward on the outside for a narrow win.

"We got to the lead and she kind of started looking around," said jockey Eddie Razo, who rode Cloak of Vagueness.