04/16/2007 11:00PM

Kat Nan Do puts injury behind her


The trainers Cody Autrey and Bret Calhoun enter Week 2 tied atop the Lone Star Park standings with five wins apiece, and they go head-to-head in the featured eighth race Thursday night at Lone Star. Calhoun has Shesabigcat and Autrey has Kat Nan Do for the Thursday feature, a third-level allowance race at six furlongs.

Kat Nan Do may be the most talented horse in the race, but her career has been checkered. She made three starts at age 2 in 2005, then had a good early 2006, winning an allowance race and a minor stakes before finishing third in the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. But after one more Oaklawn start, she went out of action for months.

Trained to that point by Cole Norman, Kat Nan Do moved to the Autrey stable, finishing third Dec. 30 at Fair Grounds in her first start back from the long break. That race was supposed to be a springboard for future success, but Kat Nan Do took a major step back just as Autrey felt he had the filly at a peak.

"She was in at Oaklawn, we put her on a van, and she completely threw a fit," Autrey said.

Kat Nan Do had no prior history of temperamental behavior, Autrey said, but her van tantrum not only cost her the intended Oaklawn start, it also injured her badly enough that she was sent to the Louisiana State University equine veterinary clinic. Sewn back together again, Kat Nan Do needed a couple weeks before her wounds healed to the point Autrey could resume regular training.

"We got her healed up and started training back on her," he said. "I don't think she's back to the point where she was, but she worked good the other day. I'd like to have two more weeks with her, but this is when the race came up."

Shesabigcat, less accomplished than Kat Nan Do, won twice at Lone Star in 2006. She should improve Thursday after a fading comeback start last out at Sam Houston, but Shesabigcat's early speed may prove more effective in a two-turn race for Texas-breds later this meet.

The horse Kat Nan Do might have to beat is Yo Fanci, unraced since a narrow loss in a Remington turf sprint allowance late last November, but 2 for 2 over the Lone Star racing strip, and a winner in 3 of her 4 career starts. She is trained by Joe Petalino.