04/02/2005 1:00AM

She's Wild may be over a barrel


STICKNEY, Ill. - There's no need to equivocate. The Charlie Vinci stable has simply been on fire during the National Jockey Club at Hawthorne meet.

This is not the norm. Vinci, a Chicago veteran who is mainly a claiming trainer, has had no recent streak of remotely comparable proportions. Through Friday's races here, when Keepitinthebag won a competitive second-level allowance route race, the Vinci stable had sent out 23 starters, notching nine wins, four seconds, and five thirds. That 39 percent win mark for a six-week spell is remarkable, especially when one considers that Vinci's longtime owner, Avers Wexler, flirted with switching to trainer Wayne Catalano late last year.

But in the featured eighth race Monday at Hawthorne, even the current Vinci magic might not suffice. The Vinci-trained She's Wild enters off an easy win over entry-level Illinois-bred allowance horses, but runs into the talented filly Barrel Racer in a second-level statebred allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

In fact, She's Wild, a stretch-out sprinter, will be doing the dirty work of setting the pace for Barrel Racer, a late-running Western Playboy filly who hasn't been out since June, when she was knocked around in a statebred stakes race, suffering a hairline fracture of her knee.

"It didn't need surgery or anything," said trainer Brian Williamson. "She was just on the farm turned out. She's training great, but I just hope I've got enough in her. I'm hoping to run in this race, then on Illinois Day. I haven't had any setbacks with her, and she's been on a pretty tight breezing schedule."

Stormy Impact upsets Cat Tracker in Sarco

A flood of betting action poured in on Cat Tracker from the moment the odds board switched over to the eighth race Saturday at Hawthorne, but Cat Tracker was no match for Stormy Impact in the stretch of the $42,000 Sarco Stakes. Stormy Impact, who drew clear in the final furlong to win by six lengths, paid $8.20 to win, while Cat Tracker, the 3-5 favorite, was all out to hold off Ask the Lord by a half-length for second.

Ask the Lord had beaten Stormy Impact by a neck in an overnight stakes earlier this meet, but on that day Stormy Impact was hung out wide on the first turn. Saturday, as Cat Tracker went to the lead from post 1, Stormy Impact stalked from the two path.

The pace was slow - 25.37 seconds for a quarter-mile, 49.26 for a half - and Stormy Impact had drawn even after three-quarters in 1:13.54. Cat Tracker fought back briefly at the head of the stretch, but couldn't match the winner, who went on to complete 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.73.