08/25/2004 11:00PM

Champali on easy street

Champali (left) beats Clock Stopper by a nose in the Smile in July.

Champali could have run next weekend in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at Saratoga. But that likely would have contradicted what the colt's connections are trying to accomplish with him.

"We're trying to get him to the Breeders' Cup Sprint in peak shape," said Rob Lloyd, who manages the Lloyd Madison Farms syndicate, which owns Champali. "We don't want him to have to run his eyeballs out to get there."

So Lloyd and the colt's trainer, Greg Foley, hand-picked the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint Stakes as the penultimate BC prep for Champali, who in recent months has become one of the most accomplished sprinters in North America. The Breeders' Cup is at Lone Star Park Oct. 30.

"It would have been nice to go after a Grade 1, but we thought this was the more sensible option," said Lloyd. "He'll have one more race after this, and that might be tough enough, wherever it is. Then hopefully we'll be off to the Breeders' Cup."

The Forego likely will draw a far tougher field than what Champali will face Saturday in the six-furlong Arlington Sprint, which will be run for the eighth time at the Arlington Heights, Ill., track. Only four other horses were entered.

And besides, from Madison, Wis., it's a lot harder to get to Saratoga than the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Lloyd, Foley, and their families are part of a group of 40 that has made arrangements to converge on Arlington. Most of the ownership syndicate lives in Madison.

, a 4-year-old by Glitterman, has focused exclusively on sprinting in his four starts this year, and the results have been sensational. In his last start, the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 10 at Calder, Champali turned back all comers for the 10th and richest victory of his 18-race career.

Champali will be ridden by Arlington kingpin Rene Douglas for the first time and will break from post 4. If Champali is to lose Saturday, it most likely would be to , a hard-trying sprinter who has earned nearly $470,000 for trainer Jimmy DiVito.

The rest of the field is Gold Storm, Super Fuse, and 3-year-old Avid Skier.

The Arlington Sprint is the sixth of 10 races on a card that also includes the $50,000 Hatoof Stakes (race 8) and two allowances (races 5 and 7). First post is 1 p.m. Central, with the Arlington Sprint set for 3:25.