12/20/2007 12:00AM

Riverson tries to repeat at same class level

EmailSTICKNEY, Ill. - It's a tough call, deciding which is more notable: The name "Owen Rainwater," or the success that owner-trainer Owen Rainwater has had with Riverson, a horse he first claimed for just $10,000 two years ago.

"I really don't know," Rainwater said of the genesis of his unusual family name. "Everything I found out is that it's English, even though it doesn't sound that way. Supposedly, when they made translations or whatever years ago, they changed the spellings a little."

That takes care of the name. As for Riverson, he and Rainwater have had good times together. This year alone, Riverson has four victories, and he enters the featured fifth race Saturday at Hawthorne as the favorite to notch his fifth win of the year.

Riverson was one of seven entered in the featured fifth, a third-level, six-furlong allowance race also open to $40,000-$50,000 claimers. It's the claiming condition that allows Riverson, a nine-time winner, into the race. Running at this same class level on Nov. 30, Riverson won by more than four lengths. That marked Riverson's seventh victory at Hawthorne, a track he clearly loves the best.

"I think he's a lot better here than he is anywhere else," said Rainwater, who has five horses currently stabled at Hawthorne.

Riverson's Achilles heel has been pairing up victories, but Rainwater makes a salient point in this regard: "Usually when he's won in the past, he's had to jump up a class. This time, he doesn't."

Better still, Riverson races from off the pace, of which there appears to be plenty. Chillin Villain, Foxie's Boy, and Weatherstorm all figure to show early speed, with Riverson sitting in the second tier.

Quite Acceptable should be even farther behind the early leaders, as he makes his first start since April and first since Jim DiVito took over his training some 2 1/2 months ago. Quite Acceptable made four starts in routes, but won his career debut in a six-furlong Hawthorne maiden race.

"The horse is doing real good, and he won at Hawthorne going short, so I think this is the best spot," DiVito said.

Chillin Villain led all the way in winning an Illinois-bred second-level allowance race here Sept. 28, but faded to fifth about three weeks later when he came back at this higher class level.