09/02/2009 11:00PM

She Be Wild, Dixie Band give Catalano punch


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Wayne Catalano always has resented being called a claiming trainer. And it's true: Recently Catalano has been winning with everything.

Catalano's huge middle- and late-meet run at Arlington has catapulted him to a big lead in the trainer standings, and on Saturday, Catalano will send out the morning-line favorite in both the Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Catalano has recently been raving about She Be Wild, who has won her two starts this summer by a combined 12 1/2 lengths. She Be Wild did look flashier winning her Aug. 8 overnight stakes prep for the Lassie than the Catalano-trained colt Dixie Band did his prep for the Arlington-Washington Futurity, but She Be Wild may have landed in a deeper spot than Dixie Band.

There are nine in the one-mile Lassie, but She Be Wild's most serious challenger could be Tiz Miz Sue. While She Be Wild was winning the Top Flight Stakes by more than seven lengths on Aug. 8, Tiz Miz Sue still was a maiden, but the following afternoon Tiz Miz Sue followed up on a near-miss going five furlongs in her career debut with a resounding score at three-quarters of a mile. And, as a daughter of Tiznow and the stakes-class route horse Sue's Good News, Tiz Miz Sue is bred to continue improving over longer distances - such as the Lassie's one-turn mile.

"She has to rate and go a mile, that's the thing," said trainer Steve Hobby. "But I think it won't be a problem."

She Be Wild showed high speed winning her 4 1/2-furlong career debut, but she settled just behind a torrid early pace before drawing clear in the Top Flight.

"She looked like she rated good to me in the race," Catalano said. "She should relax. It looks like she'll do whatever you want her to."

Deceptive Glory scored the fastest short-sprint maiden win of the Arlington meet on July 4, but broke slowly and showed little in the Top Flight. She is one of two fillies entered in the Lassie by trainer Bret Calhoun, who also has Highest Power for the race. Highest Power faced only Louisiana-bred sprinters in her lone start, but she won by 10 lengths in a quick time, and appears talented.

Gabba Girl, Attempt to Name, and Thats Whatshesaid all have shown at least moderate ability here this summer.

Outside spot favors Dixie Band

Catalano said Dixie Band has yet fully to realize his potential, and it is common in the summer for 2-year-old fillies to be farther along mentally than their male counterparts. But Dixie Band can run, and even without fully focusing, hasn't been beaten yet. He was sharp winning over 4 1/2 furlongs in his career debut, and though he did not look quite as good in the Aug. 8 Spectacular Bid, Dixie Band still got the job done, wining by 1 1/2 lengths.

For the Futurity, Dixie Band has what should be an ideal post, drawing the outside gate in a seven-horse field. From there, new jockey David Flores can clock the other speed in the race - primarily Beware the Tiger - and proceed from there.

A new and at least mildly appealing horse on the scene is Piscitelli, who will be trainer Greg Sacco's first starter at Arlington. Monmouth-based Sacco, who also sent the filly Suzanne for the Lassie, said a race over Arlington's synthetic track could be beneficial if Piscitelli proves worthy of consideration for the Breeders' Cup.

Sacco said both these horses worked well on the synthetic surface at an Ocala, Fla., training center before coming to Monmouth.

Piscitelli almost won over five furlongs in his career debut, and scored by a length second time out going a two-turn mile.

"He'll sit where he needs to be in a race," Sacco said.

U Appeal to Me finished second in the Spectacular Bid. Oak Motte was visually impressive winning a maiden sprint last time out, while Herecomesbert won by three lengths over a one-turn mile here on Aug. 6.