06/27/2007 11:00PM

Bonde has first-timer in stakes


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Could lightning strike twice for trainer Jeff Bonde?

Last year, Untouched Talent made her racing debut for him in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes and won the race. He will try to match that accomplishment again Saturday at the Alameda County Fair when Tiz Madison debuts against five rivals in the five-furlong $45,000-added Juan Gonzalez for 2-year-old fillies.

Bonde said he would have preferred a maiden race for the debut of Tiz Madison, who has three bullet works over the Pleasanton track. Still, he believes she will be a contender Saturday.

"She's a big, strong horse with pedigree, and she has a good mind," he said. "The owner is local and saw what we were able to do with Untouched Talent last year. He wanted to run in the stakes."

If there's a plus for Tiz Madison, it's that she has been stabled here since her March purchase for $45,000 at the Barretts sale.

"That helps a lot that she's been here, and we've schooled her a number of times in the paddock," Bonde said.

The going could be tough for her with the likes of Carbella, Livia La Vida Loca, and Sassy Blend in the field.

Sassy Blend finished sixth in her last start, the May 27 Cinderella at Hollywood Park. She faded badly in the final sixteenth of the 5 1/2-furlong race after setting the pace.

"I don't think she needs to be on the lead," trainer Gil Matos said. "She just found herself on the lead down there. If someone wants to go here, we'll sit behind them, but I don't think she'll be off the lead too much with her natural speed."

Matos concedes she may not have been ready to go 5 1/2 furlongs with only a two-furlong victory six weeks earlier.

"We noticed that day speed wasn't holding, and we were on the dead rail," he said.

Carbella, disqualified from a win in her debut, has never trailed a rival in two career starts. She set the Golden Gate Fields record for four furlongs with a 45.01 clocking. She got in a strong 59.40-second workout at Santa Anita last Saturday.

Livia La Vida Loca won her debut at Hollywood Park on May 31 in a $40,000 maiden claimer.