03/03/2007 1:00AM

Here they are again


CHICAGO - A follower of Hawthorne Race Course might feel overwhelmed with a sense of deja vu perusing the entries for Monday's program. No, your mind hasn't gone all awry - these really are the same horses you just saw entered to race at Hawthorne.

The thing is, most of them didn't get to race. Seven of the races on Hawthorne's Friday card were wiped out when the program was scrapped because of high winds, and all seven are back on the Monday program. This is not a bad thing, either. Cold weather, wet weather, ongoing meets in Arkansas and Louisiana - all combine to make for generally short fields this time of the year at Hawthorne, and the track's racing office had to scramble on a couple recent entry days. So, how sweet was it to have seven ready-made fields handed over on a platter?

Race 1, the only open allowance race on the card, drew exactly the same field it had Friday; a Wayne Catalano-trained, Frank Calabrese-owned entry of Ormond by the Sea and Altercation; two horses from the Charlie Livesay stable, Brave N' Able and Deploy; Mt. Crafty, Tampa's Big City, and Open Bar.

To refresh: Ormond by the Sea hasn't raced since he won a $25,000 conditioned claimer last April at Hawthorne, but has posted regular works for his comeback. Altercation was claimed by Calabrese last fall, and last finished a fading sixth in a two-turn turf race. Monday's six-furlong distance is much more his style.

Handicappers also will find merit in Tampa's Big City and Mt. Crafty, who has a better post on Monday than he did Friday. Tampa's Big City finished last of 11 in an entry-level route allowance race Jan. 19 at Turfway Park, but has run much better at Hawthorne than he did on Turfway's Polytrack surface.

Mt. Crafty has a solid finishing kick that has been at least mildly effective in both routes and sprints, and he may be helped by the weather. On warmer days, when the track was muddy opening weekend, the surface played fairly. Saturday, with the temperature below freezing, the surface was lightning-fast and inside-speed favoring. Monday's forecast calls for a high of 37 degrees under partly cloudy skies.