07/25/2005 11:00PM

Red-hot pair have shot at 3-race sweep


CHICAGO - A little less than two months left in the 2005 Arlington Park meet, and trainer Wayne Catalano has his own record in range.

Catalano trained 64 winners here in 2002, breaking Noel Hickey's 1991 mark by two, and setting the bar higher than anyone figured to reach again anytime soon. But a year after he won just 12 races at the Arlington meet, going the season without principal owner Frank Calabrese, Catalano is booming again. He and Calabrese started this meet with a bang and haven't quieted down yet. Calabrese is going to win his sixth straight owner's title in a walk, and through Sunday, Catalano had saddled 40 winners, putting him within reach of another single-season mark. Moreover, those 40 winners have come from just 96 starters, giving Catalano a 42 percent strike rate at Arlington.

On Thursday, the pair have a horse for each of the first three races on the nine-race program, and they stand a decent chance of completing a sweep.

Actcentric, the subject of a little claiming war between Catalano and trainer Mike Reavis, rejoined the Catalano stable June 18 when Calabrese took her for $10,000 from Reavis, who had claimed Actcentric from Catalano and Calabrese for $5,000 two weeks earlier. Actcentric has landed in a cushy spot for the class level, and should win at a short price.

In the second it is a recent claim named Terwilligers Creek who goes for Catalano and Calabrese, and though the horse finished sixth at this same $10,000 nonwinners-of-two claiming level last time, he could rebound with the barn change and a stretch out in distance from a one-turn mile to 1 1/8 miles around two turns. And finally, the class-rising Lady Pioneer tries $17,500 nonwinners-of-two company in the third race, having blown out a field of $10,000 maiden claimers two weeks ago in her first start since being claimed at Churchill Downs. Since this outfit readily drops horses in class, a move in the other direction should be viewed in a highly positive light.

Arlington's leading team has nothing for the featured eighth, a third-level allowance with a $50,000 claiming option, but Christine Janks, second to Catalano in the trainer standings, starts the possible favorite, For Gillian. For Gillian exits a four-length second-level allowance win, but that victory and For Gillian's other two came in one-turn races, and she might prove vulnerable at nine furlongs and two turns Thursday. The logical alternative is a Churchill shipper, Quick Temper, who ran third behind better horses in a Churchill race at a similar class level three weeks ago.