A Bear of a Choice in Sunday's Will Rogers

A Bear of a Choice in Sunday's Will Rogers
Photo: Benoit
Singletary, winning the Academy Award Stakes.
(from Hollywood Park notes)
Singletary, the probable favorite in the $100,000-added Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds goint one mile on turf Sunday, is named after Mike Singletary, Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears.

"I talk about him to Mike, but he's been tied up as a coach for the Baltimore Ravens," said trainer Don Chatlos Jr. from his stable office in Barn 51. "But he's very interested in the horse, and if we get him to the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in August, he said he would try to make it."

Singletary has developed into one of the top 3-year-old grass horses on the circuit with two victories and two seconds in four turf outings. He won the Academy Road Stakes at Santa Anita in March and finished second by a nose in a roughly run La Puente Stakes in April.

Singletary races in the navy and orange silks of the Bears that are used by Little Red Feather Racing, a group headed by Billy Koch. He is the grandson of the late Howard Koch, a famed movie producer and long-time board member at Hollywood Park.

"Billy went to Northwestern and I grew up on the south side of Chicago," explained Chatlos of the connection and mentioning that he has a 2-year-old named Leroy Brown.

Chatlos, the son of a trainer, was in Chicago when middle linebacker Singletary led the Bears to their 1985 Super Bowl football victory.

When Chatlos bought a son of Sultry Song built like a linebacker for $3,200 at a 2-year-old sale for Koch, the name was obvious.

Chatlos, who went on his own last year after four years as an assistant to Ron Ellis, seeks his first graded stakes victory in the Will Rogers.

One of the biggest disappointments in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park April 26 was Winning Stripes, who was eased in the stretch as the 3.40-to-1 third choice after stalking the pace in fourth down the backstretch.

"He's going to try a little better this time," said trainer and co-owner Bill Morey Friday.

"He locked up on us," said Morey in explanation of the colt's performance in the Snow Chief. "Maybe we had him too fresh."

Morey returned the colt to Golden Gate Fields, where he worked a good six furlongs last week, and shipped him back to Hollywood Park Wednesday.

Winning Stripes won his only previous turf outing at Golden Gate in November.

Rapier Dance, runner-up in the Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows in his last start May 10, worked seven furlongs on turf Thursday at Hollywood in 1:33.80 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

$100,000-added Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT), 3-year-olds, 1 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Singletary (KY), 117, Patrick A. Valenzuela
2. American Fury (KY), 115, Isaias D. Enriquez
3. Banshee King (KY), 115, Tyler Baze
4. Rapier Dance (FL), 119, Corey S. Nakatani
5. Winning Stripes (CA), 119, Alex O. Solis
6. Private Chef (MD), 115, Victor Espinoza

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