03/08/2010 1:00AM

Windy City Cat returns home


STICKNEY, Ill. - Hawthorne only filled eight races for Tuesday's card, and a mere 59 horses were entered for the program, but two of them look at least mildly promising.

On the Sneak snuck up on no one when he made his career debut here on Feb. 20, winning a six-furlong maiden race by eight lengths at odds of 6-5. And in Tuesday's featured fifth race, On the Sneak squares off against Windy City Cat, a sharp debut winner last fall at Hawthorne for trainer Wayne Catalano.

Tuesday's race, for 3-year-olds at six furlongs, is open to entry-level allowance horses or $50,000 claimers, and drew six entries.

Hanger Thirtyeight won a race at this class level and distance by almost four lengths here on Feb. 20, and is a threat to repeat. But bettors probably will view this as a head-to-head conflict between On the Sneak and Windy City Cat.

Windy City Cat is an Illinois-bred by Include, bred and owned by Carmen Catizone, and a horse who showed enough in the morning that Catalano started him off in an open-company maiden special weight last Dec. 23. Windy City Cat won that race by almost two lengths, and though he was no match for Gulfstream Park entry-level allowance sprinters on Jan. 30, Windy City Cat rates a strong chance to take another on Tuesday.

While Windy City Cat beat 10 rivals in his victory, On the Sneak had only six foes of questionable quality in his Feb. 20 romp for trainer Larry Rivelli. A Speightstown colt, On the Sneak drew inside for Tuesday's race, and probably will be forced to use his early speed from the start.

Karlsson back in Chicago

Jockey Inez Karlsson returned to Chicago this week, and wasted little time getting back in the Hawthorne swing of things. Karlsson won with her first starter of the meet in Wednesday's second race, and through Friday had accumulated 4 wins from 9 starters.

Karlsson elected to give Tampa Bay Downs a try this winter, rather than starting off her season in Chicago, and she had some success in Florida, winning with 20 of 172 starters before returning to Hawthorne.

Tanner Riggs, meanwhile, has continued building his lead in the Hawthorne standings, and had a seven-win advantage as of Saturday afternoon, with 19 winners, seven ahead of Eddie Perez and Tim Thornton.