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Can Lightning Strike Twice for Catalano?
In 2006, trainer Wayne Catalano won his first Breeders' Cup race when he trained Frank Calabrese's Dreaming of Anna to victory in the Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs. Three years later, he is back at the Cup (this year at Santa Anita Park) looking to score in that same race with Nancy Mazzoni's She Be Wild.
The 2-year-old filly, who went three for three at Arlington Park this summer including a win in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, drew post 8 in a field of 12 freshman fillies.
“We’re on the outside looking in, so we should be able to sit wherever we want," said Arlington's perennial leading trainer. "My wife just reminded me that Crypto Star was number eight when he won the (1996) Louisiana Derby. A number is just a number.”
She Be Wild arrived at Santa Anita in good order on Monday following a Tex Sutton flight from Kentucky.
The Arlington-Washington Lassie winner, who finished second in the Alcibiades at Keeneland, will be ridden on Friday by Julien Leparoux.
Last Friday at Keeneland, with Leparoux aboard, She Be Wild breezed five furlongs over the Keeneland Polytrack in 1:00 1/5.
"She worked extremely well. I was very happy with it," Catalano said. "She'll gallop up to the race."
She Be Wild drew off to win her debut for a $40,000 maiden claiming tag on May 30 at Arlington, and has developed beyond Catalano's original expectations.
"She showed speed and acted like she could run," Catalano said of She Be Wild's training leading up to her first start. "We were dealing with a shin issue, but I didn't want to miss a race. She couldn't bring $19,000 in a 2-year-old in training sale, so I checked with the owners, and they said go ahead and run her for $40,000. She ran great, came out of it okay, and we gave her plenty of time before her next race.
"She was very impressive in both of her Arlington stakes wins," Catalano said. "If you want them to go a distance of ground, it's important that a horse can rate, and she showed us that."
The 2yo daughter of Offlee Wild followed up with a second, beaten a half-length by fellow Juvenile Fillies contender Negligee, in the Alcibiades at Keeneland.
"She didn't win, but we got just what we wanted out of it," Catalano explained. "Her other wins were too easy. She had to run this time, and proved she could handle two turns."