04/10/2003 11:00PM

Red-hot Reavis remains king of the hill


STICKNEY, Ill. - The barrage of winners he has sent out at this Hawthorne meet usually drowns them out, but trainer Mike Reavis is starting to hear footsteps.

Through racing here Tuesday, Reavis had won with an amazing 36 of 90 starters, a 40 percent strike rate. Reavis is a lock to win yet another training title on Chicago's West Side, but already he is bracing for Arlington Park, where things get much tougher.

"I've always said you've got to win as many as you can as fast as you can until Arlington," Reavis said.

With 50 horses stabled here, Reavis thinks his hot streak can last through the Hawthorne meet, which ends May 6. But then, the balance of power shifts.

"Frank Calabrese and Wayne Catalano are starting to collect horses," said Reavis. "The other morning during training I kept seeing that Frank Calabrese saddle towel coming out in flocks, one horse after another. 'Cat' told me they sent 35 horses to the track."

Catalano has won two of the last three training titles at Arlington, but there's no question who wears the crown at Hawthorne. Reavis has had powerhouse meets the last several years, but his run this spring has been startling. Earlier in the meet, Reavis saddled at least one winner on 16 straight programs, and he and jockey Larry Sterling have dominated racing here day in and day out.

"I have to say, I've earned it," said Reavis. "Don't get me wrong, other people have earned it, too. But I went through some rough times to get here."

O'Callaghan to run two in NJC

Trainer Niall O'Callaghan apparently tried to corner the market on nominations to next Saturday's National Jockey Club Handicap: Of the 21 horses nominated to the race, five are trained by O'Callaghan, who has won two of the last three NJC Handicaps.

O'Callaghan said Friday he was leaning toward starting two horses in the race: Woodmoon, a recent allowance winner at Keeneland, and either Generous Rosi or Wiseman's Ferry. Both Generous Rosi and Wiseman's Ferry are front-runners, and O'Callaghan won't run two horses with the same style in the NJC.

In his only start this season, Wiseman's Ferry dueled on a wicked pace but held second in a strong Gulfstream Park allowance race. "That was one of his career races," O'Callaghan said.

Also possible for the NJC Cap is Colorful Tour, the diminutive Illinois-bred who just ran Wednesday in the Fifth Season Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn Park, finishing second.

"I want to see if he's tired after that race," said trainer Noel Hickey. "Right after the race he was bouncing all over the place."

Hickey felt Colorful Tour should have won the Fifth Season, in which the longshot winner Patton's Victory made a clear early lead and never was pressured. "Nobody ever challenged him," Hickey said. "My rider just misjudged the pace."

Best race on card the opener

There's no waiting around for Sunday's featured race. The opener on a nine-race program is a second-level sprint allowance, and it attracted the best horses of the day.

At 6 1/2 furlongs, the race drew only six horses, but the group is a competitive one. Stratematic, second at this class level here March 23, could be favored, but with seven second-place finishes and only two wins, Stratematic hardly is an attractive proposition in the top slot.

Bold Days hasn't raced since Dec. 29, but trainer Hector Magana can win with layoff horses and Bold Days ran well here during the fall-winter meet. So did Justin Time Joe, who turns back to a sprint after fading March 10 in a two-turn race at this class level, his first start of the season. Argue and Forever Amber are pace threats, while Corrian is a deep closer who needs fast splits to set up his run.