Singletary Hits Hard in La Jolla

(from Del Mar report)
Little Red Feather Racing's Singletary, who flopped when heavily favored in each of his three starts, put it all together Saturday in winning the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Del Mar turf course.

Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Singletary got the lead early and held on tenaciously in the final sixteenth to repel the late challenges of Devious Boy, the runner-up who lost by a half-length under Julie Krone, and Senor Swinger and Frank Alvarado, who revved up from last in the seven-horse field to rally stoutly as the 7-5 favorite, another half-length back in third.

Singletary, a son of Sultry Song trained by Don Chatlos, set a La Jolla Handicap record of 1:40 1/5 for the 1 1/16 mile on grass, bettering the stakes mark of 1:41 /25 set by Purely Cozzene in 2000.

The winner, sent off at 6-1, was second as the 4-5 favorite in a division of the Oceanside on opening day at the Del Mar meeting. Singletary was beaten a length by Sweet Return in the Oceanside.

"He was just cruisin' up there," Valenzuela said of Singletary's effort Saturday. "I got away with a :47 half, and if this horse gets a :47, he can run away from anybody. He's really versatile. He'll pretty much do what you want. That last race, he'd been away for a while. He might have gotten a little tired in that one. But he was ready today."

Prior to the Oceanside, Singletary was third at odds of 2-5 in the Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park May 25, and second, beaten a nose while 11-10 in the La Puente at Santa Anita on April 12.

Krone was nonplussed by Devious Boy's defeat.

"My horse ran his little feet off. I was the only one running at the winner at the end. I had Pat (Valenzuela) a little worried. The next one (Del Mar Derby) is a mile and one-eighth, isn't it? Bring 'em on."

Fairly Ransom was fourth Saturday.

Singletary returned $15.60 and picked up a purse of $90,000 with his third win in nine starts. His career earnings total $240,822.

Del Mar's attendance was 21,892.

(Chart, Equibase)