02/05/2002 12:00AM

Bond doubling down in Donn


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer James Bond will make his fifth consecutive appearance in the Donn Handicap, only this time he will take two shots in hopes of finally achieving his first victory in Gulfstream Park's premier handicap race.

Bond said Tuesday that he expects to run both Mongoose and Ubiquity in the $500,000, Grade 1 Donn, which will have its 44th running on Saturday. A field of 13 was expected to be entered, and post positions were to be drawn on Wednesday. Bond said the only reason he wouldn't run both is if one drew a bad post.

Originally, Bond was planning to run just Ubiquity in the Donn. Mongoose earned a trip with the way he has trained since knocking off Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos in a fourth-level allowance race here on Jan. 19, his third consecutive victory.

"Mongoose seemed to show a real liking for the course, and he's just doing so well," Bond said Tuesday from Payson Park. "Both horses are doing right at the right time."

Bond said Edgar Prado would ride *, a 4-year-old son of Broad Brush, but could be named on both horses at entry time while Bond finalizes jockey plans for Ubiquity.

*, a 5-year-old son of Colonial Affair, has only been off the board once in his 10-race career, a fourth-place finish in the 1999 Kentucky Jockey Club. After missing his entire 3-year-old season because of injury, Ubiquity went 2-2-1 in five starts last year, including a 19-1 upset in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last Nov. 23.

"This horse is really a horse with a ton of heart. He's only got one bad race on his form, and it looked like he didn't get away good in that one," said Bond, who took over the training of Ubiquity and Mongoose from Bill Mott in late December. "He's just a horse I would call an overachiever. Mongoose may have a little more ability, but Ubiquity may have a little more heart. Give me heart any day."

When it comes to the Donn, Bond has endured his share of heartache. From 1997-99, Bond watched Behrens finish seventh, second, and third in the Donn. Last year, Pleasant Breeze finished fourth.

Explicit coming for Deputy Minister

Explicit, the California-based sprinter who ran the best race of his career at Gulfstream last March, is making a return trip for Sunday's $100,000, Grade 3 Deputy Minister Handicap.

Explicit won a second-level allowance race here last winter by 8 1/2 lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 118 in the process. Trainer Ian Jory is hoping Explicit can run well enough on Sunday to earn a berth in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 23 at Nad Al Sheba.

After beginning his year with a decent second-place finish to Snow Ridge in the El Conejo Handicap on Jan. 1, Explicit finished fifth in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap over a sloppy track on Jan. 27.

"The track was so hard, it was raining all day, it was like concrete," Jory said. The fifth-place finish, he said, "compromised our chances to get to Dubai. It didn't look like he had a race the other day at all." Jockey Kent Desormeaux, Jory noted, "knew he wasn't going anywhere, and he folded up on him."

Although Gulfstream's main track is deeper than it was a year ago, Jory believes Explicit will handle it. Explicit trains at Hollywood Park, which, according to Jory, is kept deep when there is no racing there.

"He's used to a deep surface," Jory said.

Explicit was scheduled to leave by plane on Wednesday. After a layover in Dayton, Ohio, he should arrive in south Florida on Thursday morning. Jory said Mark Guidry would ride Explicit, under 117 pounds.

Hook and Ladder, the winner of the Mr. Prospector Handicap, was assigned 119 pounds and is expected to run in the Deputy Minister run at 6 1/2 furlongs. Fappie's Notebook (116), Personal First (113), Red's Honor (113), and Twilight Road (113) are the other confirmed starters. Kipperscope (114) is possible.

On Tuesday, Twilight Road breezed four furlongs in 49.20 seconds at Gulfstream. Twilight Road won a fourth-level allowance/optional claiming race by seven lengths here on Jan. 16, earning a 105 Beyer Speed Figure.

Dream Run, a stablemate of Twilight Road, is being pointed to the General George Handicap at Laurel Park on Feb. 18.

Kimmel has stakes pair

Through the first five weeks of the meet, trainer John Kimmel is 10 for 25 (40 percent), three wins behind Mott, the leading trainer. Kimmel hopes to keep his roll going in a pair of Grade 3 stakes this weekend.

On Friday, Kimmel will send out Spinster winner Miss Linda in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap and will come back on Sunday with Hook and Ladder in the Deputy Minister Handicap.

Miss Linda has not been out since a fourth-place finish in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Before that she was sixth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Miss Linda has been training well at Payson Park for her return.

"I think the filly is fit, I think she's training very well," said Kimmel, who planned to ship Miss Linda to Gulfstream by Wednesday so she could train over the track a few mornings. "It'll be interesting to see how she handles the strip over there. I think she prefers two turns. Hopefully, the track will be a little tighter than it has been. I don't think she'd handle it if is as deep as it was last Saturday. But, she's fit and ready to go."

Kimmel said Richard Migliore would fly in from New York to ride Miss Linda, who will be the 119-pound starting highweight in the Sabin, run at 1 1/16 miles.

Others expected to run, and their weight assignments, are Forest Secrets (117), De Bertie (115), Castlebrook (113), Sara's Success (113), Search Party (113), Tap Dance (113), Gulch Legacy (112), Happily Unbridled (112), Lily's Affair (111), and possibly Extend (112).

On Sunday, Hook and Ladder will seek his fifth win in as many starts over Gulfstream's main track in the Deputy Minister. Hook and Ladder won the 2000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship and last month's Mr. Prospector Handicap.

Harlan's Holiday, High Star breeze

Harlan's Holiday, runner-up to Booklet in last month's Holy Bull Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:00 Tuesday morning at Gulfstream as the main track showed signs of coming back to life. It was the fastest of 22 works at the distance.

"He did that easy," said trainer Ken McPeek, who is pointing Harlan's Holiday to the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 16. "He's very push-button. He cruised around there no problem. I think the track was faster today."

Meanwhile, High Star, trainer Nick Zito's top Kentucky Derby hopeful, was timed in 1:04.60 for five furlongs, although Zito caught him quicker. Zito plans to run High Star in an allowance race in mid-February. High Star, a son of Private Terms, is coming off an impressive entry-level allowance score on Jan. 26.

"If I get an allowance before then, he'll run in the Florida Derby," Zito said.



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