08/24/2009 12:00AM

Sprint suits Cat at Play


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - After she won her career debut by more than two lengths in an Arlington Park turf sprint, Cat at Play was sold by the Russell Reineman Stable to Forging Oaks Farm, and turned over to trainer David Carroll at Churchill Downs. The hope was that the filly, a daughter of Distorted Humor, could turn into a route horse, perhaps of stakes class. But after working with Cat at Play for more than a month, Carroll isn't so sure that longer-distance racing is going to be an option.

"She was bought with the intention of stretching her on out and going long, but she trains like six furlongs could be it for her," said Carroll. "She looks good and she trains fine, but she's just a fast filly."

Bowing to that current reality, Carroll entered Cat at Play in the featured first-level allowance race on Wednesday at Arlington, another five-furlong grass race. In her debut, Cat at Play won after breaking from the rail, but this time she has post 10, which might not be a bad thing.

"There are a couple in there that could jump off and just go, and I'm hoping she might sit off them a little bit," Carroll said. "We'll see how much class she's got."

Among the other 11 fillies entered in the seventh race is Serena Ballerina, who also makes her first start for a new trainer. When last seen on Northern California synthetics this past winter, Serena Ballerina raced for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, but she has been posting Arlington works since June for new trainer Tom Amoss. Serena Ballerina makes her grass debut, which might be a good thing, since she's out of an Irish mare, and hails from an outfit that has been strong in turf sprints.

Sedona Belle exits a win over the course and distance, having rallied strongly to beat $30,000 claimers here on July 11.

* Arlington has rescheduled the John Henry, an overnight middle-distance turf stakes, for Sept. 27, with nominations closing on Sept. 17. The race was erroneously listed as closing for nominations on Aug. 20, and to be run Aug. 29. The scheduling change, however, drew protest from Hawthorne Race Course, which has the Grade 3 Robert F. Carey on Oct. 3, and fears the John Henry could take starters from that stakes race.