Castledale, just a head short of having a three-race win streak, is the headliner for Sunday's $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/8 miles over Del Mar's Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
A field of seven is entered for the 1 1/8-mile test, with Castledale drawing the outside post position with Rene Douglas aboard.
Castledale's record shows victories in the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Bay Meadows April 23 and Hollywood Park's Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) May 30. Prior to those two wins, the Irish-bred son of Pointre Celebre was beaten in an optional claiming/allowance race at Santa Anita, where he won the 2004 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on the dirt.
A win in the Read, where the winner's portion is $240,000, would put the 4-year-old trained by Jeff Mullins for Frank Lyons and Greg Knee over the $1 million mark.
Castledale faces a tough field that includes Fast and Furious, third in the Shoemaker and runner-up in the 2004 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), and Singletary, the reigning Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) champion, who was fourth in the Shoemaker after winning the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. The mile specialist Singletary, who drew the rail and will be ridden by David Flores, attempts to win for the first time at nine furlongs.
The lead might go to Red Oak Stable's Sweet Return, who took the Charlie Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT) field gate to wire for the win June 11 at Hollywood Park.$400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT), 3 & up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Singletary, 120, David Flores
2. Sweet Return, 120, Alex Solis
3. Fourty Niners Son, 114, Corey Nakatani
4. A to the Z, 118, Garrett Gomez
5. Fast and Furious, 117, Victor Espinoza
6. Qsar, 112, Tyler Baze
7. Castledale, 121, Rene Douglas