04/23/2004 11:00PM

Bay Meadows: Singletary scores

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Heavily favored Singletary ($3.40) wore down pacesetting Captain Squire in the stretch to win the $148,750 Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile.

Singletary, who broke from the outside 7 post, was able to get over quickly and settled behind Captain Squire and longshot Motel Staff. Captain Squire set soft early fractions of 23.35 and 47.16 as he maintained a one-length advantage over Motel Staff.

Singletary, racing along the inside, was passed by Laidlow down the backstretch, but moved back into third heading into the turn. Singletary sliced inside Motel Staff nearing the quarter pole, as Captain Squire picked up the pace a bit with a 23.72 third quarter.

Singletary drove to the lead, but couldn't put Captain Squire away until late, when he began to inch away. Singletary won the one-mile race on the turf by three-quarters of a length in 1:35.16.

Gold Ruckus rallied from last to be third, two lengths behind Captain Squire, beating stablemate and defending champion Ninebanks who finished fourth.

After posing in the winner's circle, winning trainer Donald Chatlos Jr. said, "It's more of a relief to win when you come up as a big favorite. I was a little concerned being on the inside down the backstretch. I knew the one [Captain Squire] wouldn't let us through. Once he got inside the two [Motel Staff], I felt good."

Chatlos, whose long-range goal is the Breeders' Cup Mile, said Singletary will be pointed to the Grade 1, $350,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park on May 31.

Singletary earned $82,500 for his fifth victory in 13 starts. The $20,000 private purchase has lifetime earnings of $442,132.