04/21/2004 12:00AM

Ambitious schedule plotted for Singletary


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Although Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile at Bay Meadows will include a lone front-runner in Captain Squire, Don Chatlos, the trainer of Singletary, wouldn't change positions with anyone. A field of four is expected for the one-mile turf race.

Chatlos has big plans for Singletary, who has recorded triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in both starts this year, winning the Thunder Road at Santa Anita and running second, beaten a half-length by Sweet Return, in the Grade 2 Kilroe Handicap there.

"This is perfect for the Shoemaker in 37 days, then we'll give him the summer off and come back in the Atto Mile as a prep to the Breeders' Cup Mile," Chatlos said.

Big plans for a colt Chatlos described as a "black sheep" and sold for only $3,200 in the 2001 Keeneland October sale.

"He wasn't proportioned right," said Chatlos, who saw him at the sale and bought him for $20,000 three months later. "He had a big head and his neck was thin. He wasn't balanced right.

"When I saw him again, he was with a set of three that went to the track. Two had already breezed, but the big galoot went stride for stride with them for a mile and a half."

Singletary won the Academy Road and Grade 3 La Jolla last year as a 3-year-old. After finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, he was given a vacation.

"The time off really did him good," Chatlos said. "He was at the farm for two months and looked like a different horse. I knew this would be a different year. Last year, he'd go out in the morning and go through his paces, but it was not like he had a real interest. He's different now. He looks like a happier horse."

Singletary was beaten by almost 30 lengths in his first two starts of last year. Those were also his lone main-track starts.

"The way he trained, we thought he'd run on dirt, but it didn't turn out," Chatlos said.

Things could turn out much better on Saturday.

Bring on the night

The first Friday night card of the Bay Meadows season has six sprinters signed up for the feature, a $20,000 claimer at six furlongs. An afternoon card will be offered next Friday on Kentucky Derby eve with evening racing the remainder of the Fridays at the meet.

Our Magistrate, a stalker, will be favored to win his third straight Friday. He just won at this level and since then has two bullet works over the track.