02/25/2006 12:00AM

Ormond by the Sea is vulnerable


STICKNEY, Ill. - The National Jockey Club attracted 99 entries on Friday's opening-day nine-race card here at Hawthorne Race Course, but business slowed considerably over the weekend, and a mere 59 horses were entered in Tuesday's nine races, each of which has either six or seven entries.

One of the "sevens" is race 8, the nominal feature, an entry-level allowance with a $35,000 claiming option written for 3-year-olds at one mile and 70 yards. But even with only seven horses, the race looks bettable, especially if one is willing to play against the likely favorite, Ormond by the Sea. Why might Ormond by the Sea be favored? Because Frank Calabrese owns him and Wayne Catalano trains him, and the Calabrese-Catalano horses almost always are favored in Chicago races.

Ormond by the Sea also has raced more recently than any of his rivals, having finished second in a close 3-year-old restricted $25,000 claiming race on Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park. But Ormond by the Sea never has raced around two turns, and in his only previous Hawthorne race he finished 11th of 12 at a similar class level on Dec. 1.

Tally Up might be a higher price than Ormond by the Sea, and might have just as much chance. A winner of his career debut here last October, Tally Up got too much of a hot pace in his second start, fading off a 45.60-second half-mile fraction in his only poor showing in four starts at age 2. He came home strongly finishing fourth in the $92,000 Sun Power Stakes at six furlongs, and was a decent fourth in his two-turn debut and final 2005 start, the $105,000 Jim Edgar Futurity. While the Sun Power and the Edgar are restricted to Illinois-breds, both were solid races last year.

Moreover, Tally Up worked out steadily here during the winter break, and his trainer, Brian Williamson, won with a layoff horse on opening day.

"He's been working good," Williamson said. "It seems like every time he works there's some horse that's in front of him or tries to pass him. It's made him work faster, but he's been beating them."

Williamson said Tally Up bled "a fair amount" in the Edgar, and believes the addition of Lasix also could help on Tuesday.

Also worth considering is Flaming Glory, who won a maiden race here Oct. 27 in his only start around two turns. Based at Fairmount Park with trainer Eddie Essenpreis, Flaming Glory has posted three straight bullet works for this race, his first start since finishing sixth last month in the Turfway Park Prevue Stakes.