07/10/2006 11:00PM

Same level, harder spot for Suaviter

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CHICAGO - Of the many horses Chicago's leading owner, Frank Calabrese, has claimed this season, Suaviter ranks among the best. Taken out of a win in a $25,000 claimer May 26 at Arlington, Suaviter was back three weeks later and won by more than three lengths while racing for a $62,500 tag in a race also open to third-level allowance horses. There was talk of a trip to Canterbury Park for a stakes run, but Suaviter has wound up in Arlington's featured eighth race Thursday, a race at the same class level as her recent victory.

This time, races under allowance conditions rather than a claiming tag, but she also lands in a tougher spot. Suaviter had only six rivals and got an ideal race setup last out, but nine others were entered in Friday's race carded at about 1 1/8 miles on turf. Precocious Kat, however, runs only if the race is rained onto dirt, in which case she becomes the one to beat.

As usual, Calabrese will be leading owner at Arlington, but Wayne Catalano's lead in the trainer standings is more tenuous this season than in recent years: Through Sunday's races, Catalano had 21 wins, only two more than second-place Tom Tomillo.

Named to ride Suaviter is Chris Emigh, who also has seen his lead in the standings diminish. Emigh went down hard in a one-horse spill two racing weeks ago, then had to serve a suspension, and since coming back he has yet to return to the pace that opened a big lead. Francisco Torres crept within 10 wins of Emigh, but Emigh enters this racing week 13 in front.

When Suaviter won her last, Emigh sat fourth, then third behind a swift pace, and was on much the best horse. This time, Emigh might have Torres for a target, since Torres rides front-runner Samantha B., an upset candidate.

has somehow managed to go winless the last two calendar years despite maintaining solid form throughout that period. Racing at this class level May 26 at Arlington in her first start of the season, she finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length. She was fifth by 1 1/4 lengths last time out after dueling on a quick pace in the $87,000 Lincoln Heritage for Illinois-breds.

was Samantha B.'s pace rival last time out. She is back in Thursday's race, but may revert to her typical stalking style, perhaps leaving Ituna to keep Samantha B. honest on the front end.

Suaviter figures to be covered up on the inside, and if she runs back to her last race, and Emigh gets her out in a timely fashion, Arlington fans will see another short-priced Catalano-trained winner.