05/27/2005 11:00PM

Singletary eyes two in row. What are the chances?


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - His reasoning sounds more like zany superstition than handicapping, but trainer Don Chatlos said he is worried that Singletary's chances of winning Monday's Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park ended when he won the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita last month.

"It's bad for us because he's never won two races in a row," Chatlos said.

Before Singletary won the Breeders' Cup Mile last fall, he had prepped with a third in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile. Before the Arcadia Handicap, Singletary finished seventh in the Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in March, his first start of the year.

Of consolation to Chatlos is that Singletary is in excellent form for Monday's turf race.

"In all seriousness, coming in off a win is good the way he started the year off," Chatlos said.

, who drew the outside in a field of seven, will need to be at his best in the Shoemaker, which has an estimated purse of $443,000.

Singletary has never attracted national attention despite his Breeders' Cup win. A victory on Monday would help bring him that attention.

The race may have only seven horses, but seemingly any of them can win.

Castledale won the Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile at Bay Meadows last month. Special Ring won the 2004 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar. Whilly was second to the Australian star Elvstroem in the $2 million Dubai Duty Free in January. King of Happiness won the local prep, the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap on April 30. Fast and Furious was second in the Hollywood Derby last November, his most recent start. The distance may be too short for Fast and Furious, but he does have an amazing late kick. Buckland Manor placed in both the Kilroe and Arcadia handicaps earlier this year, encountering trouble in both races.

Chatlos has scouted the opposition.

"King of Happiness has caught my eye training," Chatlos said. "Special Ring and Whilly should set a good pace."

Singletary is best as a stalker. Owned by the Little Red Feather partnership, Singletary was three lengths off the pace halfway through the Breeders' Cup Mile and only a length from the lead in the early stages of the Arcadia Handicap.

There is likely to be several near the front, including Whilly. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Whilly has won his last two starts over a mile on turf: the restricted Bien Bien Stakes here last November and the Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita in December. Whilly disputed the pace in the Dubai Duty Free over about 1 1/8 miles on turf, but faded in the final furlong to lose by 2 3/4 lengths.

"He's got enough speed to be in the race, but he showed he can came from off the pace," O'Neill said.

King of Happiness and Castledale will be near the front.

ended a three-year losing streak in stakes when he scored a nose victory over stablemate Red Fort in the Inglewood. Trained by Neil Drysdale, King of Happiness was making his first start of the year in the Inglewood.

, the winner of the 2004 Santa Anita Derby, ended a four-race losing streak in the San Francisco Mile. He rallied from fifth in that race to win by a half-length. Rene Douglas rides Castledale on Monday and will be under strict instructions from trainer Jeff Mullins to conserve the 4-year-old's rally until the stretch.

"I think a mile is his best lick," Mullins said. "The thing about him is to make sure he's comfortable. You've got to save him as long as you can. He's got a short run."

The field

Shoemaker B.C. Mile
Purse: $443,000; 1 mile, turf; Grade 1

1CastledaleR. Douglas8-1
2Special RingT. Baze8-1
3WhillyF. Martinez5-1
4King of HappinessC. Nakatani9-2
5Fast and FuriousV. Espinoza6-1
6Buckland ManorA. Solis4-1
7SingletaryD. Flores2-1

* All starters carry 124 pounds
* Odds by Michael Hammersly