06/14/2002 12:00AM

Bonde has high hopes for Banshee King


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Banshee King disappointed his trainer, Jeff Bonde, in his debut, but not in his second start. Bonde hopes Banshee King continues his progress in the $55,000-added Malcolm Anderson Stakes on Sunday, closing day, at Bay Meadows.

Bonde will run two promising2-year-olds in the Malcolm Anderson. Standard Setter will join Banshee King, and they take on five others in the five-furlong race.

Both Banshee King and Standard Setter come off impressive victories. Banshee King was a seven-length winner at Sunday's distance when he graduated in a sizzling 56.85 May 27 in a straight maiden race. Standard Setter was a nine-length winner at 4 1/2 furlongs in a $25,000 maiden claimer on May 16.

Banshee King, a son of Cobra King, was a $9,000 yearling purchase at the October Barretts sale.

"Cobra King was out of fashion as a sire," Bonde said, referring to the low price. "When you're a buyer at my level, you can't go big on a pedigree horse. I have to find the ones who are a little more obscure."

Bonde liked Banshee King's athleticism at the sale, and he was impressed as the colt began to train. He liked what he saw so much that he shipped Banshee King to Hollywood Park in May for his first start. Banshee King finished sixth as the even-money favorite under Victor Espinoza.

"I sent him down there and thought he'd gallop, but he was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Bonde said. "He'd done everything right in the morning. In the race, he broke poorly and didn't like getting hit by the dirt. Victor said he knew there'd be another day, and schooled him."

Bonde said he was "disgusted" with how Banshee King had run and brought the colt back to Bay Meadows.

"I think a lot of it had to do with shipping a young horse to a strange area if he's never started," he said.

There were no disappointments in the second start, and Banshee King will be tough to catch if he displays a similar effort Sunday.

"He's just a machine," said Bonde, who would consider returning to Hollywood Park for the Hollywood Juvenile if Banshee King runs big again Sunday. "He's got a big-time stride, a good mind. He's a good colt, period."

Bonde isn't quite as high on Standard Setter. "He dominated when he put his act together," Bonde said of Standard Setter, who won his third start. "I was surprised to see him show that much speed."

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