03/30/2007 12:00AM

Shaggy Mane will tread lightly toward Cup


ARCADIA, Calif. - The newly created Eclipse Award for female sprinters has given trainer Don Chatlos a lofty goal this year for his star filly Shaggy Mane.

Along with the partnership that owns the 4-year-old California-bred - IEAH Stables, Jim Kwong, and Sanford Robbins - Chatlos is convinced that Shaggy Mane can compete for the new Eclipse Award, which will be awarded for the first time after the 2007 season.

Chatlos plans to give Shaggy Mane every chance to earn that coveted prize.

In her lone start of 2007, Shaggy Mane went wire to wire to win the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27 by 7 3/4 lengths. The Filly and Mare Sprint, restricted to California-breds and Florida-breds, is the most prestigious victory in Shaggy Mane's nine-race career, which includes six wins and earnings of $281,483.

Following that race, Chatlos plotted a tentative schedule for the first half of 2007 that will include just two more starts - the $300,000 Humana Distaff, a Grade 1 over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs on May 5, and the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap, a Grade 1 over six furlongs at Calder on July 7.

"We gave her a little time off after the Sunshine Millions," Chatlos said. "It looked like she did it easy, but I didn't want to take any chances that it knocked her out.

"Our main goal is the Princess Rooney at Calder. If we can knock that out we would be in great shape."

In the autumn, Chatlos is hoping that Shaggy Mane can start in the inaugural running of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint over six furlongs at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26.

Chatlos is banking on Shaggy Mane's ability at six furlongs to help her chances in the Princess Rooney and BC Filly and Mare Sprint.

"I don't know that the top fillies in the country are six-furlong fillies," he said. "They may be better at seven-eighths. Our filly can go 21 and 43 and keep going."

Shaggy Mane set a blistering pace in the Sunshine Millions of 21.66 and 44.24 seconds and finished in 1:09.31. The Sunshine Millions was her second stakes win; last October she won the William P. Kyne Handicap at Bay Meadows. The Kyne was Shaggy Mane's fifth consecutive win, a streak that began in an $8,000 maiden claimer at Pleasanton last July.

She was claimed by Kwong from a $12,500 claimer at Santa Rosa last August and trained by Lloyd Mason until Robbins and IAEH Stables joined the partnership last fall.

Chatlos began training Shaggy Mane in the fall, before she finished fifth in the Cat's Cradle Handicap at Hollywood Park in November.

Shaggy Mane is by top California stallion Bertrando out of the Bel Bolide mare Witchy. Shaggy Mane, who was bred by Jack and Florence Arnold, comes from a family of winners. Witchy, 13, won 6 of 17 starts and $170,277 in her career.

Witchy is out of Tiny Kristin, who had four other foals earn $100,000 or more - Kinky Kinky ($261,858), McNasty ($124,059), Stormy Jack ($596,673), and T.K.'s Bert ($124.977).

Shaggy Mane is the leading runner in 2007 for Chatlos, who is best known for wining the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile with Singletary.

She has been the highlight of his 2007 season and he is convinced that a conservative course is the best option for the quick filly.

"Our plan is to keep her races spaced by two months," he said. "She's honest. She's put on a lot of weight and she's progressing."

* An article last Sunday on the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training, held on March 20, misstated the gross and average prices for the seven California-breds sold at the auction. The gross was $1,400,000, not $1,640,000, and the average was $200,000, not $234,285.