07/16/2004 12:00AM

That Tat dangerous when fresh


That Tat has a history of running big following a layoff, and on Sunday he will be returning from a near two-month break when he starts in the $50,000 Island Whirl Handicap at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

The six-furlong race has drawn seven quality sprinters, and it will go as the sixth on the program. That Tat is the 120-pound highweight in a field that includes stakes winners Doctor Mike, More Crafty, and Ole Rebel, who in his last start won the $50,000 Kings Court.

That Tat is a multiple stakes winner of $420,585 and he has turned in some of his biggest performances following layoffs. In the spring of 2003, he returned from a 2 1/2-month freshening to win an allow-ance at Lone Star Park in track-record time. That Tat ran 5 1/2 furlongs in a blazing 1:01.88, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 108.

His latest layoff success story was in February, when he came back from a four-month vacation to win a tough optional claimer over Grade 3 winner Chindi at Oaklawn. That accounted for That Tat's third-highest career Beyer of 102.

The Island Whirl will be That Tat's first start since May 31, when he finished fifth after breaking slowly in the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint at five furlongs at Lone Star. He moves back to dirt and to one of his better distances for the Island Whirl.

The race also comes over a track where he is a stakes winner. Adding to That Tat's allure is how well he has been working over the local strip, with a half-mile drill in 48.60 seconds on July 3.

That Tat should get his preferred stalking trip behind Golden Hare and More Crafty, who appear to have the most early speed in the Island Whirl.

Trainer Cole Norman has given the mount on That Tat to John Jacinto, who has won 39 percent of the time when riding for Norman.

More Crafty also comes out of the Norman barn, but will not be coupled with That Tat because of different ownership. More Crafty also exits the Beck, finishing eighth after a wide trip. Prior to that race, he was a sharp allowance winner at Lone Star. Behind him in that race were That Tat and Ole Rebel.

Lonnie Meche has the mount on More Crafty, who in March won the $60,000 Danville at Golden Gate Fields at 21-1.