12/13/2005 1:00AM

Last Gran Standing works fast for Illinois Futurity


CHICAGO - The undefeated Last Gran Standing is set for Saturday's Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity after a strong six-furlong workout on Saturday at Hawthorne.

Last Gran Standing, unbeaten after three starts and a relatively easy winner of the $92,000 Sun Power Stakes in his most recent race, breezed six furlongs in 1:15 on Saturday, the fastest of six works at the distance. His trainer, Brian Williamson, caught the work

in a slightly quicker time than Hawthorne's clockers, and said Last Gran Standing had galloped out strongly for another furlong while finishing his last quarter-mile in less than 24 seconds, a good sign for a speedy colt trying two turns for the first time.

Just as importantly, Last Gran Standing's injured hoof, ripped open at the start of the Sun Power, has healed nicely for the Edgar, Williamson said. The hoof never was patched, just treated regularly with turpentine and other traditional measures. "It looked great after the work," Williamson said.

Last Gran Standing should be part of a solid field for the 1 1/16-mile Edgar. Silver Titan has breezed three times in Kentucky since finishing second to Last Gran Standing in the Sun Power, and figures to make the trip to Hawthorne this weekend.

Proven Cat may be one to beat

Significant snowfall was expected in Chicago beginning Wednesday morning, and the weather could disrupt racing here this week. Hawthorne lost a full day and two races on another card last week, but was able to race Friday after more than eight inches of snow had fallen the day before.

If Thursday's card goes off as planned, the feature will be race 8, a second-level Illinois-bred allowance at 1 1/16 miles. The horse to beat may be Proven Cat, who was claimed by trainer Mark Cristel out of a $10,000 nonwinners-of-three claimer Sept. 8 at Fairmount and reeled off consecutive Hawthorne wins this fall, the first sprinting in a conditioned claimer, the second going two turns in a statebred entry-level allowance. Proven Cat finished a distant second in her last out, but the winner, Discreet Gal, was sharp, and Proven Cat came from sixth-place, rather than stalking the pace as she had in her previous win.

But the change in tactics seemed to show that Proven Cat is relaxing now and likes running a route of ground, and she has the tactical speed to secure an ideal racing position from post 2 on Thursday.