06/13/2001 11:00PM

N.Y. trio invades Baltimore


Three New York invaders, with five graded wins among them, take on two local stakes winners in Saturday's $200,000 Baltimore Ravens Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pimlico.

What the field lacks in size is made up for in quality, even though the runners are not on the same level as the top handicappers in the country.

The New York trio, Cat's at Home, Milwaukee Brew, and Windrush, will vie for favoritism among the five 4-year-olds entered in the Grade 3 Baltimore Ravens BC.

Lightning Paces and Grundlefoot, the local contingent, would have to put forth career-best efforts to topple the out-of-towners.

Cat's at Home, the 116-pound highweight for the 1 1/8-mile race, peaked last April when he won consecutive graded races in New York. Trained by the Belmont Park-based Mark Hennig, Cat's at Home captured the Westchester and Excelsior handicaps, a pair of Grade 3's, before finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile Handicap on Memorial Day.

Hennig's colt is 4 for 7 at the Baltimore Ravens distance.

Filiberto Leon rides Cat's at Home, who drew the rail.

The Baltimore Ravens BC also attracted Milwaukee Brew, who is trained by Joe Orseno for Stronach Stable.

Last year, Milwaukee Brew showed himself to be a consistent stakes performer with a win in the Grade 2 Ohio Derby, followed by a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Haskell and a second in Woodbine's Grade 2 Durham Cup against older horses.

This season, Milwaukee Brew finished third in the Westchester off a six-month layoff, then followed with a fourth in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special, where he was beaten 10 lengths by Include. Orseno said Milwaukee Brew bled despite getting Lasix in the Special.

Milwaukee Brew, who has been training sharply at Belmont, will be ridden by Rick Wilson from post 2.

The impeccably bred Windrush, a son of Seeking the Gold out of a Storm Cat mare, won three in a row in the winter at Aqueduct, including the Grade 3 Stymie.

Windrush's trainer, John Kimmel, skipped last weekend's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park, a much tougher spot, so he could run in the Baltimore Ravens BC.

Richard Migliore, Kimmel's go-to rider, comes in from New York to pilot Windrush, who drew post 5.

Front-runner Lightning Paces, a stakes winner on dirt and turf, likely will try to steal away to an early lead in what appears to be a paceless field.

Grundlefoot, last year's Leonard Richard winner, does his best running when he can close into a strong pace.