04/20/2005 11:00PM

Out-of-towners add depth to Sixty Sails Handicap


CHICAGO - Saturday's Grade 3, $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne hit a sweet spot on the national racing calendar, drawing a seven-horse field that is stronger and deeper than was expected.

Contested at 1 1/8 miles on dirt, the Sixty Sails has shippers from California, Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania, not to mention the horse they will all have to catch, the locally based Injustice.

Injustice might be the sharpest horse in the Sixty Sails, but she is unlikely to be favored. That role might fall to , a Chilean-bred mare whose importation to the U.S. signaled potential trouble for race-callers everywhere. With the names Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez affixed to her form, and a win two starts back in the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap at Gulfstream, Isola Piu Bella could wind up as a mild favorite Saturday.

Bettors also will back , who was to have flown in Thursday from Los Angeles for trainer Bobby Frankel. Personal Legend exits a pair of fourth-place finishes in Grade 1 stakes at Santa Anita and fits more comfortably at the Grade 3 stakes level. Before moving to California, Personal Legend won stakes races at Calder and Aqueduct, prompting Frankel to say, "She probably wants a softer racetrack."

The track might help. So might a reunion with Jerry Bailey, who has won four times on Personal Legend. "He gets along with her, for whatever reason," Frankel said.

Both northern California-based Uninhibited Song and locally stabled Ghostly Gate would need career-best races to win, but Rare Gift and Friel's for Real are legitimate contenders. Rare Gift most recently finished third in the Grade 3 Next Move at Aqueduct, but has yet to produce a top race outside New York. Friel's for Real, who trains at Philadelphia Park in the barn of Edward Allard, was fourth in the Next Move, but is capable of a better performance and may produce one Saturday.

The East Coast horses are stalkers, and , who turned in a fast half-mile work here Monday, might clear the field from post 3. Purchased privately in February, Injustice led all the way winning the Grade 3 Azeri at Oaklawn in her last start. The Sixty Sails will be Injustice's first start at 1 1/8 miles.

"She'll be right there; she'll take it to them," said trainer Wayne Catalano, who has won with 11 of 25 starters at this meet. "The distance might be the question mark."