05/30/2006 11:00PM

Be a Bono faces Gold Medal Jess in Los Al trials


Be a Bono, the 2004 world champion, and Gold Medal Jess, winner of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship, each come off layoffs in the 400-yard trials to the Grade 1, $135,000 Vessels Maturity on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

The defending Vessels Maturity winner, Be a Bono will be making his first start since a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship on Oct. 15. After that race, Be a Bono, a 5-year-old gelding, underwent a stem cell regeneration procedure to repair cartilage in his right front leg. He prepared for the Vessels Maturity trials with a quick 17.80-second work over 350 yards on May 24.

The winner of 10 of 15 career starts, including six stakes, Be a Bono has earned $1,002,177.

Gold Medal Jess has been freshened since a half-length victory in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship, his fourth win in five starts and only graded-stakes win. Those four wins include victories in the 350-yard A Ransom Stakes and the 550-yard Paul Ford Handicap.

Aladim Bryan SA comes into the Vessels Maturity trials off a half-length victory in the 350-yard Kaweah Bar Handicap, his second stakes win in three starts. He defeated Gold Medal Jess by a head in the 550-yard Bellflower Handicap, setting a Los Alamitos track record of 26.54 seconds.

Brother act in futurity and derby

The full brothers Ivory James and PYC Paint Your Wagon are strong contenders in the Grade 1, $677,000 Heritage Place Futurity and the Grade $167,777 Heritage Place Derby, respectively, on Sunday night at Remington Park.

The brothers are sired by Corona Cartel and out of Dashin Follies, a daughter of the 1996 world champion, Dashing Folly.

Ivory James set the fastest time to the futurity during the second of two days of trials, May 13, when he raced the 350 yards in 17.540 seconds for his second win in three starts. His sole loss is a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity at 3-1, when he broke out at the start.

PYC Paint Your Wagon won his derby trial by 2 1/2 lengths in 19.599 seconds for 400 yards, the second-fastest qualifying time from five trials. Last year, he earned more than $600,000 from eight starts with wins in the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity and the Lazy E Futurity and a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity behind champion Leading Spirit.

DM Shicago set for Championship

Defending world champion DM Shicago will try to move forward off a third-place finish in the 440-yard MBNA America Oklahoma Challenge Championship in the $150,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship at 440 yards on Sunday night.

The Oklahoma Challenge Championship was DM Shicago's first start since Dec. 30.

"We're planning on running," owner Jim Helzer said of the Remington race. "We thought he might be vulnerable in that first race back. There's always a concern about conditioning when the first race back is at 440 yards."

DM Shicago earned his world championship after sweeping the Ruidoso, Rainbow, and All American derbies, all Grade 1, at Ruidoso Downs last summer.