04/25/2006 11:00PM

Saturday card a homecoming event

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Toll Taker traveled by van and airplane.

STICKNEY, Ill. - The Illinois breeding industry might not be booming right now, but there are some gifted Illinois-breds scattered about the country, and several are converging on Chicago for the six $100,000 Illinois-bred stakes races on Saturday at Hawthorne.

The six stakes were drawn Tuesday, and there is an out-of-state shipper for all but one of them. Toll Taker arrived Tuesday after flying from Florida to Indianapolis, then taking a van to Hawthorne, while Take Achance on Me was scheduled to travel here by van from Maryland on Thursday. Also entered were three Kentucky-based horses, Rich Fantasy and Silver Titan for trainer Ronny Werner, and the Dale Romans-trained Wiggins.

Toll Taker makes her second trip to Chicago, and her connections hope it proves much more productive than the first. Two autumns ago, Toll Taker came for a stakes race, stumbled leaving the starting gate, and dumped her rider, Carlow Marquez.

"She went to her nose, so he had no shot to stay on," said trainer Tim Hills. "I remember it distinctly."

Toll Taker will go in the Peach of It Handicap for older mares at 1 1/16 miles, and she may be favored over talented locals Meadow Bride and Capistrano in a race that drew eight entries.

Take Achance on Me returns to defend his title in the Chicagoland Handicap, and this year his trainer, Mike Trombetta, figures to be much more familiar to local fans. Trombetta was here earlier this month with Sweetnorthernsaint, whose Illinois Derby romp moved him into the top tier of Kentucky Derby hopefuls. Take Achance on Me has raced only once since last July and is an 8-year-old, but Trombetta said Take Achance On Me's comeback race March 30 at Laurel seemed solid enough.

"He's good," Trombetta said. "He came back running, and we're pleased with him."

Wiggins finished sixth in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap last spring, but won the High Alexander here last fall by almost five lengths, and may be favored in this year's edition of the Milwaukee Avenue, which drew eight entries. The Lady Hallie for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs is the day's deepest race, though the Land of Lincoln for 3-year-old male sprinters also drew a big field. Hawthorne-based Bluesbdancing is the horse to beat in the Governor's Lady Handicap.

Fleet Indian in top form for new connections

As well as Isola Piu Bella ran winning the Sixty Sails Handicap last year for trainer Todd Pletcher, Fleet Indian probably ran even better winning this year's Sixty Sails for Pletcher here Saturday. Fleet Indian, making her second start since owner Paul Saylor bought her privately at a January auction, won the nine-furlong Sixty Sails by 12 1/2 lengths, and her exceptionally fast raw time of 1:49.37 computed to a Beyer Speed Figure of 112, among the highest numbers awarded to any horse this season.

"It looks like she came back well," Pletcher said Monday morning. "We don't have anything at the moment we're pointing for. We'll look for something four to six weeks out."

Fleet Indian, Pletcher said, will spend about a week in Kentucky before heading back to New York. Fleet Indian is a New York-bred, and though she won the first four races of her career, and 5 of her first 10 starts, she never showed anything close to the form she has in two starts this year for Pletcher. Saylor, in fact, in a postrace interview Saturday said he "didn't realize how good" Fleet Indian was when he purchased her, and had viewed the 5-year-old mare more as a broodmare prospect. Not anymore.

Three Hour Nap resting up

Three Hour Nap, whose winning time Saturday in the National Jockey Club Handicap was about three seconds slower than Fleet Indian's, also appeared to exit his stakes win in good physical condition.

"He seems all right," trainer Hugh Robertson said. "You know, he was pretty tired the next day, but he's been cleaning up his feed, and he seemed good [Monday]. His legs are cold."

Robertson said there were not yet any specific plans for Three Hour Nap.

"We'll play it by ear, see how he is a couple days over the racetrack," he said.

Rockhurst dropping in at $35,000

The Friday feature at the National Jockey Club meet is a pretty interesting five-furlong turf sprint, written for third-level allowance horses or $35,000 claimers, and it drew two of the better turf sprinters on the circuit, Rapid Raj and Rockhurst.

Rapid Raj has raced in mid-level claimers several times, and it comes as no surprise to see him in for the $35,000 claiming price. But Rockhurst banked $106,000 and won four times last year, and the one time he ran for a claiming price, his price was $100,000. Pondering such an issue is part of the game, since if Rockhurst fires one of his better races, he ought to win.

Trained by Mike Dini for the Ruman Stable, Rockhurst was good enough last year to finish fourth, beaten less than a length, in a $112,000 sprint stakes at Keeneland. He finished a close, closing third at Tampa in his lone start this year.