08/04/2002 11:00PM

Hail the Chief pointed for autumn return


CHICAGO - Saturday at Arlington, Generous Rosi recaptured the form that got him a Grade 1 placing last fall, but it is another Niall O'Callaghan-trained handicapper, Hail the Chief, who might show up in Arlington's next major distance race for older horses.

O'Callaghan is undecided about Generous Rosi's next race, but said that in a few days Hail the Chief will have his first breeze since spraining an ankle earlier this summer. If his training progresses well, he will make his next start in the Sept. 28 Washington Park Handicap, the local prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Hail the Chief hasn't raced since late May, when he easily won the Hawthorne Gold Cup, his second straight graded stakes win. A European import, Hail the Chief has thrived on dirt racing. He ran well finishing second to Macho Uno in a Gulfstream allowance race, then revealed the depth of his ability in April when he crushed his rivals in the National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportsman's Park.

Hail the Chief was headed to the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at his home track, Churchill Downs, when he suffered his injury.

As for Generous Rosi, he could make a return trip to Turfway Park on Sept. 14 for the Kentucky Cup Classic, a race he won last year, but O'Callaghan hasn't committed to anything yet. Generous Rosi went to the sidelines in April when his form deteriorated and it became evident to O'Callaghan that the 7-year-old horse wasn't doing well physically. O'Callaghan brought Generous Rosi back to the races here Saturday in an overnight handicap, and, showing his customary early speed, Generous Rosi led throughout in a three-length win over McMahon, a horse who had beaten him this spring.

"You could see he's happier again," O'Callaghan said.

O'Callaghan added that his 3-year-old filly Chamrousse might make her next start Oct. 4 in the Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks at Hoosier Park.

Mystery Giver a Million possible

A change of heart from his trainer and owners has made Mystery Giver a possible starter in the Aug. 17 Arlington Million.

In the July 27 Arlington Handicap, Mystery Giver had a terrible trip and made a late surge to finish fifth, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths for first. Because he was badly bottled up for most of the Handicap, Mystery Giver expended little energy in the race and came out of it in great physical shape. Still, Chris Block, who trains Mystery Giver for Team Block, a family partnership in which he has a stake, initially was inclined to pass on the Million.

But as Mystery Giver has continued training well, Block has started thinking about giving his colt a chance in the Million. "I'd say it's about 50-50 right now," he said Sunday. "I know it's coming up tough, but you take a shot when they're good, and he's good right now. I'll work him on the turf Wednesday and then we'll decide next weekend."

Five likely for Singapore Plate

Ioya Forever, Mystery Giver's 3-year-old sister, was all but ruled out for Saturday's Singapore Plate, a nine-furlong dirt race.

"She's not seasoned enough yet to run against those fillies," Block said.

With no Ioya Forever, there are only five likely starters for the Grade 3, $100,000 Singapore Plate: Lost at Sea, Ms Brookski, See How She Runs, Strikes No Spares, and Summer Mis.

Summer Mis has won impressively in statebred stakes and open allowance company this meet, while Ms Brookski, a Grade 2 winner, hasn't raced since she was badly beaten in the Kentucky Oaks. Either of those horses could contend, but the Singapore Plate might come down to a rematch between Lost at Sea and See How She Runs, who finished a head apart July 3 in the Iowa Oaks.

Lost at Sea, who won the Oaks at 22-1 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, had her major tune-up for Saturday's start when she worked seven furlongs in 1:27.40 here Saturday with jockey Rene Douglas up.

"I thought she went real well," Hollendorfer said. "You always have hopes they're still developing, and she's done everything she's been asked."

Should be crowded up front in feature

Something must give in Arlington's Wednesday feature, a third-level filly and mare allowance with a $50,000 claiming option. Of the six entered in the race, five possess front-running tendencies. The solution to the puzzle seems obvious, but the lone filly with confirmed closing power, Abba Gold, may not be good enough to take advantage.

Silver Sonnet is the likely favorite off a seven-length, second-level allowance win here July 21. Owned by Roger Devenport and trained by Tom Amoss, Silver Sonnet has rebounded with two convincing wins from a disappointing loss at 1-2 on June 2 at Churchill. And if she beats her rivals to the front end Wednesday, there's probably no catching her at this abbreviated 5 1/2-furlong trip.

But there is other true speed in the race. Garrettslilnora has shaded 45 seconds for a half-mile, and Sister Greeley may be as fast as anyone. Undefeated in three races, she has led throughout in all her starts at tiny Great Lakes Downs, a bullring where it is impossible to put up fractions considered fast by Arlington standards.

Emily Ring also has sub-45-second half-mile speed, and with a turf-sprint prep under her belt should be ready for a top effort Wednesday. But what is interesting about her speed is the fact that it has been harnessed before. In an easy win over this track last summer, Emily Ring was taken just off the pace by jockey Eddie Razo, who rides her again Wednesday, and similar tactics might allow Emily Ring to post a minor upset for trainer Blackie Huffman.