by Karen M. Johnson
Chatain, the winner of the Nov. 3 William Livingston Stakes at Meadowlands, will run next in the $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Nov. 24, according to trainer Angel Penna Jr.
Penna said Nov. 5 Chatain had the perfect prep in the $60,000 William Livingston, a six-furlong dirt race, which he won by a head while coming off the pace. The trainer had hoped to run the son of Forest Wildcat in the Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Oct. 27, but scratched the 4-year-old colt when the track came up sloppy.
Chatain, who won the Hal’s Hope (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in January, had not run since impressively winning an allowance race at Saratoga Aug. 6. A foot bruise kept Chatain out of the Forego (gr. I) at Saratoga Sept. 1. Earlier this year, he was beaten only 2 1/2 lengths by last year’s Horse of the Year, Invasor, when fourth in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream.
“The race at the Meadowlands was what the doctor recommended,” Penna said. “The thing we wanted there was a sharpener. He had been out for a long time, and you can’t win a grade I like the Cigar Mile coming off a 3 1/2–month layoff. He needed a workout.
“We weren’t going there to lose, but I told Cornelio (Velasquez), ‘Don’t beat him up and leave his heart out there.’ He never touched him, and it was a lot easier of a win than it looked on paper.”
Penna trains Chatain for the late Martha Farish Gerry’s Lazy F Ranch, whose legendary yellow and black colors carried Forego to seven championships, including three back-to-back Horse of the Year titles in 1974-76. Gerry’s daughter, Cornelia Gerry Corbett, has continued to campaign horses under the name Lazy F Ranch since her mother’s death in September.