08/19/2005 12:00AM

What a Song injured, euthanized

What a Song had won all three of his starts before suffering a fatal injury on Friday.

DEL MAR, Calif. - What a Song, the top-ranked 2-year-old male in California, was euthanized on Friday after suffering a sesamoid injury in an early morning gallop at Del Mar.

The injury occurred to What a Song's right foreleg. What a Song was galloping in the stretch when he bobbled while switching leads, trainer Bob Baffert said.

"It was a routine gallop," Baffert said. "I think he might have hit a bad spot. This is so tough."

What a Song was put down at approximately 11 a.m., after Baffert had spoken with owner Bob Lewis, and consulted with several veterinarians. Because of the location of the injury, Baffert said there was concern about a lack of circulation to the injured leg.

"Bob consulted with the best experts in the country, but there was nothing that could be done," Lewis said in a phone conversation. "The sesamoids were just gone."

What a Song was unbeaten in three starts, including the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 14. Purchased for $1.9 million at the Barretts 2-year-olds in training sale in March, What a Song had earned $179,700. He was considered a leading candidate for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in October.

"He was insured - at that purchase price we of course had to - but with a sizable deductible, so we're certainly not out of the hole," Lewis said. "But that's beside the point. My heart just goes out to Bob and his staff. I know he thought this colt was one of the most talented horses he'd ever trained."

Brooke's Halo seeks turf stakes win

Brooke's Halo, the winner of the Grade 2 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks in June, will attempt to win her first turf stakes in the $75,000 Aladdin Resort and Casino Handicap in Sunday's fifth race.

Trained by Jeff Mullins for Michael House, Brooke's Halo finished last of six in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks over a sloppy track on July 16. "The wet track did her in," Mullins said.

In her only turf start, Brooke's Halo finished second by a nose in the Manhattan Beach Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 29.

The Aladdin Handicap is run over a mile on turf. The race drew 12 entrants but only 10 can start. Mashina and Private Banking, the first two finishers in an allowance race on Aug. 1, are top contenders.

Classic runners under surveillance

Del Mar will conduct surveillance of the starters for Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic in the 24 hours before the race, according to executive vice-president Craig Fravel.

Security staff members will be present at the barn of each the starters.

"If it gives bettors more confidence, we think it's worth doing," Fravel said.

The surveillance was first discussed with horsemen earlier this month, Fravel said.

"We were talking to some of the trainers and they thought it was a good idea," he said.

Race-day surveillance has become commonplace for major stakes in Southern California in the last year, with security staff present in the barn area for as many as eight hours before a race. Many extra security personnel are hired for the day and are provided video cameras to record barn activity.

Running Free eyes Live the Dream Handicap

Running Free is bound for the $75,000 Live the Dream Handicap on Sept. 7 after winning his second stakes of the year in Thursday's $89,400 Harry Brubaker Stakes.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Running Free ($13) ran the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:41.39. Running Free, 4, stalked pacesetter Positive Prize to early stretch and won by a neck.

Running Free won the Khaled Stakes at Hollywood Park earlier this year. Trained by Kristin Mulhall, Running Free has won 6 of 18 starts and $352,076. The Live the Dream is run over a mile on turf.