Trainer Don Chatlos’ 14-horse barn has won only four races this year, but what matters is that two of them have been registered by Singletary, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Singletary’s second win came Saturday at Santa Anita, where he rallied from last place under David Flores to win the $250,000 Oak Tree Mile. This is the same stake in which Singletary was third last year, beaten by a head. Singletary had won only two races for the year before his 2004 Breeders’ Cup win at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Chatlos and Billy Koch, managing partner of the group that owns Singletary, said that the 5-year-old would be flown to New York several days before he tries to repeat in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will be run at Belmont Park on Oct. 29. The favorite is expected to be Leroidesanimaux, who has won eight in a row.
“He’ll need to be sharper than he was last year,” Chatlos said.
Singletary, still last and trailing by 3 1/2 lengths at the quarter pole, won by 1 1/2 lengths, finishing in 1:34 2/5 and paying $6.60 as the second choice. Designed For Luck was second, Buckland Manor ran third and favored We All Love Aleyna finished fourth.
The race before, favored Captain Squire won the $236,000 Ancient Title Stakes by half a length over Zanzibar. Jeff Mullins, trainer of the winner, said the Breeders’ Cup Sprint was a possibility.
First Samurai reinforced his position as the early favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with a 2 3/4 -length win over Henny Hughes in the $500,000 Champagne at Belmont. Now First Samurai’s trainer, Frank Brothers, knows his colt is just as good over a sloppy track as he is on a dry surface. First Samurai, who is undefeated, had three wins over fast tracks before Saturday. The Champagne was his first race at Belmont.
Adieu, who has lost once in five tries, won Belmont’s $500,000 Frizette by two lengths over Along The Sea to pave the way for her appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
At Keeneland, Laity was 3-1 and Dawn Of War 36-1 in the $500,000 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity. Understandable, since Laity had beaten Dawn Of War by 11 3/4 lengths a month ago, but this time Dawn Of War won by 3 1/2 lengths and Laity finished a well-beaten fifth. Dawn Of War, thrusting himself into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile picture, led from the start. Catcominatcha ran second and Stream Cat was third.
In Keeneland’s $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, the first four finishers went off at odds of 10-1, 27-1, 28-1 and 27-1. Their names are Host, Vanderlin, Gulch Approval and Remind, with Host, winner by a neck, giving trainer Todd Pletcher a two-track double. Pletcher, who hadn’t run Host since February, also trains Adieu. Trainer Bobby Frankel’s top-rated pair, Three Valleys and Alinghi, finished fifth and eighth in the Shadwell. The race’s superfecta paid $80,834.20 for $2.
Elusive Jazz won Keeneland’s $266,500 Phoenix Stakes.... Belmont’s $270,000 Jamaica Handicap, moved from grass to dirt, was won by Watchmon, who had only two horses to beat after six scratches.... Almost seven inches of rain fell in Maryland, forcing Laurel Park officials to reschedule their 12 Maryland Million races for next Saturday.