05/22/2009 11:00PM

Paisano Creek part of Catalano's new outfit


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano, the dynamic force at Arlington Park the last many seasons, split over the winter. They're on opposing sides this summer at Arlington - but don't cry for either one of them.

After the 13th day of the 2009 meet was completed Friday, both Catalano and Calabrese had notched seven wins apiece. That's a 52-win pace for the Arlington season - well under the 60- to 75-win meet totals that the two have notched in three of the last four years here, but more than respectable.

Calabrese has a horse in a starter allowance (race 9) on Monday, while Catalano sends out a more promising animal named Paisano Creek in the featured eighth, a second-level allowance carded for 1 1/8 miles on grass.

Catalano has so far started only 18 horses at this meet, and made only one claim. That's a far cry from the hectic revolving-door stable that he, Calabrese, and racing manager Steve Leving had set up at Arlington. But having some space from Calabrese's hard-driving personality was bound to create a different feel.

How would Catalano describe the tenor of his 2009 Arlington meet?

"Relaxed," he said jokingly.

Catalano is training for multiple clients now, and still has his net cast for owners with what he termed "running horses."

"We'd come in here with 40 to 50 to run," Catalano said. "Now we've got some horses that we're developing."

Paisano Creek might well be one of those. Purchased privately over the winter and owned by Darrell and Evelyn Yates, Paisano Creek finished a tough-trip sixth in a $35,000 non-winners-of-two claimer March 28 at Gulfstream. But Paisano Creek was live on the board in an entry-level turf allowance here on May 9, and won impressively.

"You notice I didn't run him back for a tag," said Catalano.

Paisano Creek won over soft turf, but Catalano feels there's more in the tank, and said the horse continues to do well in the morning.

"He's still moving forward," said Catalano.

If not Paisano Creek, then maybe Denim or A.P. Answer. Should the course come up wet, consider Approvedbythemint.