10/12/2003 11:00PM

Numbers favor Bet on Joe

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CHICAGO - The key numbers in Hawthorne's featured fourth race on Wednesday are 3, 2, 1, and 48.60.

Three is the number of starts Bet on Joe has made at Hawthorne; two is the number of his wins; one is the number of his place finish there; and 48.60 is the time of Bet On Joe's workout Oct. 6, the fastest of 50 half-mile breezes at Hawthorne that morning.

Those are the cold statistics. Try imagining Wednesday's race into life and Bet on Joe looks even better. He has run best stalking a fast pace, and may get an ideal trip tracking a speed battle between Silver Bid and King Cielo.

"It seems like he likes it fine over at Hawthorne," said Hugh Robertson, Bet on Joe's trainer. "It's been a pretty deep and tiring track this year, but he's a big, strong horse and he can probably handle it. He's been doing pretty good, but we've been sitting and waiting for a race for a long time now. They kept hanging this race up as an extra and it finally went."

The race, at six furlongs, is for fourth-level allowance horses or $75,000 claimers. Of the seven horses entered, five, including Bet on Joe, run for the claiming tag. Rested from February until July, Bet on Joe won a $50,000 claimer at Arlington and the $50,000 Prairie Meadows Sprint, before coming up empty in the Arlington Sprint on Aug. 23.

For Silver Bid, the important number is six, as in six furlongs. Silver Bid has been stuck running in 6 1/2-furlong races his last three starts, but six furlongs is what he wants. With speed and the rail, Silver Bid could prove tough to catch if King Cielo, breaking from post 4, does not keep him honest.

Cilio feeling better

There is bad news, and then there is bad news. When Out of My Way was bounced all over the racetrack in the Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Handicap earlier this month at Keeneland, it pained his trainer, Gene Cilio.

"Awful, that was awful," Cilio said Monday morning.

But let's put a tough trip in a big race in context. In September,

doctors told Cilio he had cancer, and his prognosis for recovery was grim. More than a month later Cilio's pallor has returned, he is spending his mornings and afternoons at the racetrack, and planning his annual trip to the Fair Grounds next month.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Cilio said. "I'm getting around, going out to the barn. We'll just see what the next step is. I go back to the doctor this week. I've always been pretty tough-minded. I've got a good outlook, and we'll do what we have to do."

Out of My Way managed to come out of his rough trip in good physical condition, after finishing fifth in the Phoenix. "He was bounced off the rail and ended up on the outside fence," Cilio said. "I'm just glad he came out of it healthy."

Out of My Way has had an excellent season, and he can add another stakes win to his resume here Nov. 8 when he faces statebred sprinters in the Lightning Jet Handicap.

Janeian's next race not set

Janeian, who won the $150,000 Indian Maid in turf-course record time here Saturday, earned a spot in a graded stakes race. But where and when is uncertain, her trainer, Bret Calhoun, said Monday.

A New Zealand-bred mare, Janeian has flashed talent this season, but ran her most complete race Saturday. Janeian is headstrong and eager, and Calhoun and his team have worked on getting Janeian to relax. But Janeian was unsettled early in the Indian Maid before finding cover behind two horses on the backstretch. Then she relaxed and punched home with a powerful kick, winning by more than two lengths and running 1 1/16 miles in 1:39.86.

"If she sees daylight, she won't relax, so at least now we know what to do with her," Calhoun said. "She's got a real quick turn of foot. Saturday was the proving ground to see where she can go next, but I haven't looked at any races yet."

Calhoun also reported that Breeders' Cup Juvenile hopeful Cactus Ridge came out of his Saturday work here in good condition.

"It seems right now he's better than ever before," Calhoun said. "He was cutting up a bunch over there this morning."