Updated on 09/17/2011 5:52PM

Singletary has his owners delirious

Singletary and jockey David Flores shoot to the lead in the Breeders' Cup Mile, holding off Irish invader Antonius Pius and his rider, Jamie Spencer.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A colt named for a famous football player scored big for an exuberant group of self-proclaimed small-time owners when Singletary, using a huge rally after turning for home, raced to an upset victory Saturday in the .

With jockey David Flores giving him a flawless ride from post 10, Singletary, dismissed at 16-1, suddenly spurted to an open lead approaching the eighth pole, then was hard-ridden to hold off 31-1 shot Antonius Pius. Six Perfections, the French filly who won the Mile last year, rallied belatedly to finish another 1 1/2 lengths back in third, while Artie Schiller, the surprise favorite at 7-2, labored home 12th in the field of 14.

The victory resulted in an overwhelming outpouring of emotion from the connections of Singletary, a 4-year-old colt who cost a mere $3,200 when he was sold at auction as a yearling. Most of Singletary's owners, the 13-member Little Red Feather Racing syndicate, along with family and friends, watched the Mile on the second floor of the Lone Star grandstand, and as soon as the field crossed the wire, they broke out in chants of "Singletary! Singletary!" while some even ran down the "up" escalator on their way to the winner's circle.

"We're just modest, everyday people," said Billy Koch, who heads up the California-based syndicate. "I try to show people that this game is for everyone. This shows you don't have to spend $1.5 million or $8 million to come up with a good horse. We know how lucky we are to be here."

Singletary, named for retired Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary, returned $35 after finishing in 1:36.90 over a yielding turf course. The $2 exacta paid $1,495.60, and the $2 trifecta paid $12,435.20.

For winning trainer Don Chatlos, Singletary was his first Breeders' Cup starter.

"Here I am just a poor kid from the South Side of Chicago, where there aren't any horses, and here I am, on top of the world," said Chatlos, a former assistant to California trainers Ron Ellis and John Sadler.

Soaring Free led for the first six furlongs of the Mile, setting fractions of 24.03 seconds, 48.65, and 1:12.71, being chased closest by Special Ring, Domestic Dispute, and Whipper. As the leaders bent for home, Flores urged Singletary for his best when driving through an opening, and the furious midstretch run kept him clear of Irish invader Antonius Pius, ridden by Jamie Spencer.

"When I saw light at the head of the stretch, I let him roll," said Flores.

Said Spencer, "I gave him a couple of cracks in the stretch and he edged away from the stick. He really should have won it. He has so much ability."

Singletary, by Sultry Song, had been first or second in 10 of his 15 previous starts, with his most notable victory coming in a Grade 2 race at Bay Meadows in April. Bred in Kentucky by Disler Farms Ltd., Singletary was purchased for $30,000 by Little Red Feather before beginning his career in October of his 2-year-old year.

Mike Singletary, now an assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens, was unable to watch the Mile because of his traveling schedule. Sunday at the press breakfast, Koch said the syndicate had received an e-mail from Singletary's wife expressing the couple's delight with the result. "She said Mike asked if the horse was going to run again today," said Koch, to laughs from the crowd. "We'll teach him."

Koch, whose late grandfather, Hollywood producer Howard Koch, got his grandson interested in racing, said his lifelong fascination with racing had finally paid off for himself and his partners in Little Red Feather, which has six other horses with Chatlos. "It doesn't get any better than this," said Koch.

Chatlos said the ideal schedule for Singletary for next year would be to have him once again at his peak for the BC Mile, to be run at Belmont Park. "But we're not going to make him do anything he's not up to," he said. "He's already done enough for us."