02/15/2006 1:00AM

Be a Bono almost set to train again


Be a Bono, the 2004 Quarter Horse world champion, should resume training in March and will be pointed to the trials to the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity on June 2 at Los Alamitos, according to owner Spencer Childers.

Be a Bono won the 2005 Vessels Maturity and the Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship, a stakes named after his owner, in 2004 and 2005.

"We did surgery on him and he had some cartilage damage in his knee," said Childers. "They actually extracted some of his stem cells and injected them where the damaged cartilage was."

Be a Bono has not raced since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship on Oct. 15.

New Challenge program added

The MBNA America Quarter Horse Racing Challenge Program has added the MBNA America Challenge Supplemental Stakes program, which will award $100,000 to new and existing stakes at tracks that do not offer regional Challenge races.

"By working with these tracks, we're able to provide new options for Challenge customers that might not have the opportunity to participate in the program otherwise," said Ryan Sherman, senior manager of the Racing Challenge.

In 2006, the supplemental stakes program will include 14 stakes at 11 tracks in seven states. The program awards funds to Challenge-eligible horses competing in these races based on their finish.

Jones brings double trouble

Four-time defending national champion trainer Paul Jones has dangerous horses in the $18,000 Marina Del Rey Handicap and the $18,000 Fullerton Handicap this weekend at Los Alamitos.

Jones, who won 49 stakes in 2005, will saddle Gottobes Cat and Furious Dasher in Friday's 350-yard Marina Del Rey Handicap for 3-year-olds.

Last summer, Gottobes Cat won the California Breeders Freshman Stakes and on Dec. 26 she scored a dead-heat win in the Holiday Handicap, her most recent start.

Furious Dasher has proven to be an excellent claim for veteran Los Alamitos handicapper and TVG analyst Les Onaka, who claimed him out of a winning effort for $6,250 maiden claimers on Dec. 3. In two starts for Onaka and Jones, Furious Dasher won a $12,500 claiming race and the 550-yard Super Bowl Handicap.

In Saturday's 350-yard Fullerton Handicap for older mares, Jones is represented by Sassy Corona.

Sassy Corona comes off a third in the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap, in which he finished a neck behind the winner, Texas Chatterbox. Sassy Corona has won the Pocahontas Handicap and the First Place Dash Handicap.