01/02/2016 6:04PM

Bayerd snaps long losing streak in off-the-turf Bonapaw

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Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography
Bayerd, under Florent Geroux, ends an eight-race losing streak in the Bonapaw.

Throughout 2015, Bayerd had been running well, trying hard – and losing. Eight times Bayerd had started since winning the Springboard Mile on Dec. 14, 2014 at Remington Park, and eight times he had lost, though five seconds, a third, and a fourth took some sting from that string of defeats.

But this is a new year, and Saturday at Fair Grounds, Bayerd began 2016 by ending his losing streak, beating Attain by one length in the $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes, which moved from turf to dirt because of a sodden grass course.

Bayerd got a cozy outside stalking trip under Florent Geroux and made the most of it, finishing willingly to outgun Attain, who raced near the rear of the field until turning for home and finished willingly on the far outside in his stakes debut. A head behind him came Officer Griffin, who had a touch of early trouble, sat on the fence most of the trip, and came out before the eighth pole to make his run. Speightsong finished fourth after squeezing through a tight spot in midstretch in a decent performance.

Off splits of 22.27 seconds, 45.63, and 58.08, Bayerd ran 5 /2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:04.52, and paid $6.20 to win as the favorite.

“My horse was very sharp leaving the gate. I was able to take a good position,” said Geroux. “When it was time to go, he just did the rest.”

Billy Two Hats, Sylven Park, Marchman, and Eden Grey’s Kitten were scratched.

Trained by Steve Asmussen for Clark Brewster, Bayerd now sports an ultra-consistent 4-6-2 mark from 14 starts, and is closing in on a half-million dollars in career earnings. By Speightstown and out of the Cherokee Run mare Cherokee Jewel, he was bred by Alpha Delta Stable in Kentucky and purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium, Md., in May 2014 for $75,000.