03/01/2007 12:00AM

Charmo out to reclaim stature in Kilroe


ARCADIA, Calif. - There was little fight in Charmo through the final furlong of the Thunder Road Handicap at Santa Anita last month. Charmo made a dazzling move heading into the far turn and did not sustain the rally, finishing eighth. It was hardly the form he was expected to show in his first start in eight months.

For the past month trainer Julio Canani has been determined not to let that happen again in Saturday's $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile.

The Grade 1 Kilroe Mile gives Charmo a chance to reestablish his reputation as a top turf miler, a status he held last spring when he won the Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile at Golden Gate Fields and finished second to division leader Aragorn in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park.

Canani and the partnership that owns Charmo are banking on the 6-year-old's quick rally to be the difference on Saturday. That was part of the problem in the Thunder Road. Canani said that Charmo "saw the daylight and took off" too soon.

If he is more patient under jockey Garrett Gomez in the Kilroe, Charmo's chances will improve. Canani was enthused by Charmo's half-mile workout in 46 seconds on dirt at Santa Anita on Monday.

"The other day, he broke five lengths behind another horse and he caught the other horse," Canani said. "He's doing very good right now."

Even with his best effort, Charmo will be tested. The Kilroe has drawn such a deep field that defending champion Milk It Mick will be a longshot, while making his first start since recovering from a cannon bone injury suffered last summer.

Likely to be near the front early on are Fast Parade, the crack turf sprinter; Kip Deville, the winner of the Sir Beaufort Stakes here in December; and Silent Name, the winner of the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap last April.

Fast Parade does not need the lead, trainer Peter Miller said, even though he has been near the front in his last three starts, all stakes wins in turf sprints. "He's really rate-able, and I see us stalking," Miller said. "I don't see us on the lead. He really relaxes well and finishes."

Bayeux, a closer, will be well-backed. Trained by Patrick Biancone, Bayeux was second by a nose in the Thunder Road, his first start since winning the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in his U.S. debut last November.

"He's a proper horse," said Biancone.

Silent Name is making his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park in November. He led to the eighth pole of the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs last fall before finishing sixth.

"He looks great," trainer Gary Mandella said. "He was a tired horse after the Citation. His coat got long and dull for the first month. In the middle of January, he turned the corner."

Despite the layoff, Silent Name will be "100 percent fit," Mandella said. "I believe he will be or I'd ship for an easier spot."