12/01/2001 12:00AM

Chaste finds a softer spot


MIAMI - Trainer Scotty Schulhofer will never be able to erase World Thoroughbred Championships Day from his memory in light of the injury to his star 3-year-old filly Exogenous just prior to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Exogenous was one of two horses Schulhofer had entered in the World Thoroughbred Championships. The other was Chaste, who finished ninth behind Banks Hill in the Filly and Mare Turf. On Saturday, Chaste takes on much softer competition in the My Charmer Handicap, one of four stakes worth $100,000 apiece on the Grand Slam I program.

Chaste earned a starting berth in the Filly and Mare Turf after finishing fourth, beaten less than five lengths, in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational. She was also a late-running third behind Penny's Gold in Saratoga's Balston Spa Handicap.

"She was overmatched in the Breeders' Cup," Schulhofer said at Gulfstream Saturday. "We thought she deserved the chance since she hadn't run too bad in the Flower Bowl, and we were trying to get her stakes placed in a Grade 1 because she's going to be bred to Lemon Drop Kid this spring."

Schulhofer said Chaste came out of the Breeders' Cup Distaff well and expects her to run a big race in the My Charmer. His only problem at the moment is finding a rider for the 5-year-old Chaste as well as for her younger stablemate Windsong, whom he also plans to start in the My Charmer.

"Edgar [Prado] won't be down here next weekend and all the other New York riders that will be here are taken," said Schulhofer. "Windsong is also going to the breeding shed this spring and I'd like to win a stakes with her before she leaves."

As for the incident that resulted in the death of Exogenous, Schulhofer says it's something he'll never forget.

"What happened to the filly on Breeders' Cup Day is far and away the worst thing that's happened to me since I've been in racing," said Schulhofer. "I've had horses break down before, but nothing like that. It was just one of those things; nobody's fault."

Schulhofer is still hoping Exogenous will be voted the Eclipse Award champion in her division despite not having the chance to participate in the Distaff.

"She had a great year and I really believe she would have won the Distaff," said Schulhofer. "The way the race was run it would have set up perfectly for her."

A large field is expected for the 1 1/8-mile My Charmer. Along with the Schulhofer pair the field figures to include Batique, Clearly a Queen, Light Dancer, Please Sign In, Silver Bandana, Sitka, Smilin' N Blushing, Wander Mom, and at least one or two of the six fillies and mares nominated to the race by trainer Christophe Clement.

Busy Day

Jockey Pat Day will ride in all four stakes on Saturday's Grand Slam I card. Day will be aboard Sitka for trainer Dale Romans in the My Charmer, Slew Valley for Michael Dickinson in the Tropical Turf Handicap, Notable Editor for Ken McPeek in the What a Pleasure, and Twilight Ride for Rusty Arnold in the Three Ring.

Jerry Bailey and Jorge Chavez are also expected to ride in the afternoon's four stakes.