Updated on 09/16/2011 9:18AM

Bonapaw cruises home

Email
Horsephotos
Under a confident ride by Gerard Melancon, Bonapaw takes the Vosburgh Stakes. It would cost $200,000 to supplement him to the Breeders' Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Bonapaw used his brilliant speed Saturday to win his first Grade 1 race and become a millionaire. But his connections are in no hurry to give some of that money back to make the 6-year-old gelding eligible for next month's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Without ever feeling the leather of jockey Gerard Melancon's whip, Bonapaw led from the start and cruised to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes before 8,542 at Belmont Park. After running a half-mile in a relatively easy 45.10 seconds, Bonapaw covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.34 and returned $5.10.

Aldebaran, who was the favorite by $2,213, got up for second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Voodoo. Multiple Choice, Wild Summer, and Griffinite completed the order of finish.

It was the third straight victory and 17th in 34 career starts for Bonapaw, who pushed his career earnings to $1,031,636. It was the first Grade 1 victory for Bonapaw, owners James and Dennis Richard, and trainer Norman Miller.

Bonapaw is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, and it would cost his owners $200,000 to supplement. While it hasn't been ruled out, Dennis Richard said it would be unrealistic.

"It's very, very very tempting to go, but it's not realistic," he said. "You're going to put up $200,000, you're going up against the best sprinters in the whole world, and if you win you get $600,000. By time you give all the 10 percents away you have to win to almost break even."

Richard said he and his twin brother would like to find someone to put up the supplemental fee, but that partner would only share in any Breeders' Cup money won. The Richards do not want to sell the horse.

"We've had some people call and they want to make a deal," Dennis Richard said. "They wanted half the horse and $200,000 of the purchase price would go to the Breeders' Cup. We would have control through the Breeders' Cup, but after that Norman would be out, Gerard would be out, and the twins would be out. We don't have much but we sure do have fun."

Richard said Bonapaw would remain in New York until a decision on the Breeders' Cup is made. If Bonapaw does not run in the Sprint, he will be shipped to New Orleans, where he will make a third attempt at winning the Thanksgiving Day Handicap at Fair Grounds.

After Aldebaran finished second for the fifth straight time - and 10th time in 15 career starts - trainer Bobby Frankel said he would most likely be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Mile on turf.

"I don't think he can get up going three-quarters," said Frankel, who also plans to run Beat Hollow in the Mile. "Even if there is more speed in the Sprint, I don't think they would stop enough to come back to him."