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Biography, Highlights and Media:
- Born: July 24, 1956, New Orleans, La.
- Residence: Elgin, Ill.
- Family: wife Renee; daughter Shelbi.
- Web site: www.catalanoracing.com
- Sent out Stephanie's Kitten to win the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs, his third Breeders' Cup victory with a 2-year-old filly ... Has won two editions of the Juvenile Fillies – the 2006 running at Churchill Downs with Dreaming of Anna and the 2008 edition at Santa Anita with She Be Wild.
- His initial Breeders’ Cup starter, Tamweel, finished fourth in the 2004 Distaff. In addition to his two wins in the Juvenile Fillies and his victory in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Catalano also has saddled Lewis Michael, Dreaming of Anna’s older full-brother by a year, who finished 11th in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, 5th in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and 7th in the 2008 Dirt Mile ... His other two starters in 2011, Coalport and Tequila Factor, finished 11th and 14th, respectively in the Juvenile Turf... His lone starter in 2012 was Oscar Party who finished last of 14 in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
- Top horses (wins) in 2013 include: I'm Only Sexy (G3 Pucker Up), Poker Player (G3 Bourbon), Hogy (Presque Isle Mile), Stephanie's Kitten (G1 Just A Game), Title Contender (G3 Ohio Derby), Solitray Raner (G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity), Lien On Kitten (Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies) and Coalport (Franklin-Simpson Mile).
- Through Oct 8, 2013, Catalano now has 110 stakes wins (29 of which are graded) and more than 2,400 wins total as a trainer. Combined with his 1,792 wins as a jockey – he has more than 4,000 wins in his career.
- Catalano won his 11th Arlington Park training title since 2000 in 2013 – setting a single-season earnings record of $2.06 million in the process; having won the title previously in 2000, ’02, ’03, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09 and ’10. He has nearly 1,000 wins at the suburban Chicago racetrack, second only to the now-retired Richard Hazelton.
- Catalano also has won training titles at Sportsman’s Park in 1988 and 1989 and at Hawthorne in 1987 and 1989.
- Both Dreaming of Anna and She Be Wild were named Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old fillies in 2006 and 2008, respectively ... They are Catalano's only champions to date.
- His first major stakes success came with the Darrell and Evelyn Yates-owned Crypto Star, who captured the 1997 Louisiana Derby (G3)and Arkansas Derby (G2) en route to a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Crypto Star's victory in the Louisiana Derby in front of Catalano's "home crowd" is still one of the top highlights of his career.
- Stabled year-round in Chicago, Catalano also has strings in Kentucky and in Florida during the winter. For the first time in 2013, Catalano had a string at Saratoga as well. He operates a stable of 60 horses for a variety of owners, including West Point Thoroughbreds, Gary and Mary West, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, and Darrell and Evelyn Yates.
- As a teenager growing up in the 9th Ward near Fair Grounds in New Orleans, an uncle took notice of his diminutive size and suggested he go to the racetrack to become a jockey where he hooked up with Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg at Fair Grounds and “learned the game from the ground up.”
- He eventually began exercising horses for Van Berg and then riding competitively, scoring his first victory on May 20, 1974, at Churchill Downs on a horse named Hellfire.
- He was ranked as North America’s second-leading rider by wins in 1977 and enjoyed a streak of at least 41 consecutive riding days with at least one win that year.
- In all, he won 1,792 races during a nine-year riding career before chronic knee injuries forced his retirement in 1983.
- He stayed involved with Van Berg's barn even after his riding career was over, recalling, "I always knew I wanted to become a trainer after I gave up riding." ... He still rides regularly and gets aboard many of his own horses in the mornings.
Breeders' Cup Record
|2006||Juvenile Fillies||Dreaming of Anna||1st|
| ||Sprint||Lewis Michael||11th|
|2007||Dirt Mile||Lewis Michael||5th|
|2008||Dirt Mile||Lewis Michael||7th|
| ||Juvenile Fillies Turf||Sugar Mom||7th|
|2009||Juvenile Fillies||She Be Wild||1st|
|2010||Juvenile Fillies||Jordy Y||10th|
|2011||Juvenile Fillies Turf||Stephanie's Kitten||1st|
| ||Juvenile Turf||Coalport||11th|
| ||Juvenile Turf||Tequila Factor||14th|
|2012||Juvenile Fillies Turf||Oscar Party||14th|
Biographies on jockeys, trainers and owners are from the Breeders' Cup World Championships events from 2001 through 2009, and are intended as informational resources. Biographies will be updated if an individual is again a participant in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Biographies are available for most horses appearing in the top 100 money earnings list, and/or for those who are frequently making headlines in the news starting with the 2006 Triple Crown season.