06/09/2005 11:00PM

It's no Foster, but Bindner would take it


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It was one year ago Sunday that Walt Bindner Jr. got his biggest thrill in nearly 40 years in horse racing. Colonial Colony gave Bindner the lone Grade 1 victory of his training career when he pulled a 62-1 upset in the $810,750 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 12, 2004.

"You think back to things like that, and you pinch yourself to see if you're dreaming," said Bindner. "That was an unbelievable day. I may never do anything like that in racing again."

Just a few months after that incredible win, Colonial Colony was given over to another trainer, and the now 7-year-old hasn't won in his 10 starts since the Foster. Meanwhile, Bindner has soldiered on. In November, he picked up a grass specialist named Chosen Chief, and when the $72,000 Texas Glitter Stakes is run Sunday at Churchill, Bindner is hoping the 6-year-old gelding will help make the one-year anniversary of his greatest win a happy one.

Bindner, 57, is a Louisville native who rode races from 1966 to 1973 before turning to training in 1974. He calls Chosen Chief "an extremely hard-trying horse."

"I'd imagine he'll fit pretty well in that race Sunday," he said.

In his last start, the Churchill Turf Sprint on the May 6 Kentucky Oaks undercard, Chosen Chief finished second to Mighty Beau at 16-1. As the 117-pound highweight in a field of eight older horses in the Texas Glitter, a five-furlong turf race, will not be close to such long odds, and rightfully so. His consistency and tactical speed make him a huge threat to prevail, and with Robby Albarado riding again, he looks like a deserving favorite.

The top threats to Chosen Chief could be Deer Lake and Parker Run. captured the May 25 prep for this race when ridden by Pat Day, who has the mount again Sunday.

The balance of the field is Pirate King, Artemus Sunrise, Cherokee Path, Bayou Buster, and Davids Expectation.

The two listed highweights, Battle Won and Wildcat Shoes, are being pointed to the June 25 Aristides Breeders' Cup.

First post Sunday is 1:15 p.m. Eastern. Churchill takes the usual two-day break before action resumes Wednesday. The 24th Stephen Foster, along with five other stakes, will serve as the highlight of the post-Derby segment of the spring meet next Saturday.