03/13/2007 11:00PM

Be a Bono trying to bounce back


Be a Bono, the 2004 world champion, will be the solid favorite to rebound from a flat fifth-place finish in his Los Alamitos Winter Championship trial when he highlights the $35,000 Katella Handicap on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Be a Bono did not receive a 2006 championship title, but he may have been within a nose of being the world champion. He finished a nose behind 2006 world champion Wave Carver in the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions and then finished a close second in the voting for champion aged gelding to Gotta Get, who was undefeated in 2006. A Champion of Champions victory - along with his 2006 Grade 1 wins in the Vessels Maturity, Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship, and Go Man Go Handicap - could have given Be a Bono the aged gelding and world champion awards. Gotta Get had one 2006 Grade 1 victory.

The 6-year-old Be a Bono has earned nearly $1.3 million with 13 wins from 22 career starts.

Go Love a Lark Go faces Be a Bono after winning the Bellflower Handicap and the A Ransom Handicap in his latest two starts.

Futurity season begins

The $200,000 Longhorn Futurity at Manor Downs, with the top three qualifiers each winning his trial by more than two lengths, stands out among three Grade 2 futurities starting the 2007 futurity season on Saturday afternoon.

Also on the schedule are the Mardi Gras Futurity for Louisiana-breds at Louisiana Downs and the Choctaw Blue Ribbon Futurity at Blue Ribbon Downs.

The top three qualifiers to the 300-yard Longhorn Futurity each raced to an impressive daylight trial win in his career debut.

Tres Fortunes won the 12th of 14 trials by 2 1/4 lengths in the fastest time of 15.416 seconds. Raise Awareness and Cosmograph share the second-fastest time of 15.477, both winning easily.

The 2006 Longhorn Futurity produced winner Okey Dokey Fantasy and runner-up Zoomin for Bux. Okey Dokey Fantasy went on to win two Grade 1 futurities, and Zoomin for Bux set a Retama Park track record while winning the Grade 1 Retama Park Futurity.

In the $260,176 Mardi Gras Futurity, Running Downa Dragon comes off a win in the first of 13 trials. The gelding's time of 15.743 held up as the fastest qualifying time. Runner-up Toastin to Memory also qualified from that trial.

Trainer Heath Taylor saddles three of the top seven qualifiers in the Mardis Gras Futurity. Taylor trainee Mr Overloaded has the second-fastest time of 15.767 after winning his trial by 1 1/4 lengths.

Trial winners making their first start took the top three qualifying spots to the $220,700 Blue Ribbon Futurity. Miss Blue Chew tops the qualifiers list after winning her trial by two lengths in 17.027 for 330 yards.

The Blue Ribbon has a storied history - world champion Easy Jet scored his first stakes win in the 1969 running - and it was a Grade 1 race as recently as 2003.