06/28/2007 11:00PM

Bonde has two shots at repeat


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Trainer Jeff Bonde grew up in Pleasanton and he loves to win races in his hometown, particularly stakes races. He sends out a tough entry Sunday as he bids to win the $50,000 Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity for the second straight year.

Run Brother Ron, second in the Willard Proctor at Hollywood Park on May 27, and Deputy Bertrando, runner-up in the June 10 Lost in the Fog at Golden Gate Fields, present a formidable challenge to their five rivals in the five-furlong race for 2-year-old California-breds.

Run Brother Ron appears the speed of the field. Deputy Bertrando comes from off the pace. The complementary styles should make it tough on the others in the race as Bonde seeks a repeat after winning with the filly Sharoana last year.

Younique Cat, who trailed the two Bonde runners when they debuted in the same race on April 4 and was third behind Deputy Bertrando in the Lost in the Fog, is the only other stakes-placed runner in a field that includes two maidens and two maiden claiming winners.

Run Brother Ron could prove tough to catch. "He's just a very fast horse," Bonde said. "He just explodes."

Run Brother Ron won at two furlongs in Northern California's first 2-year-old race of the year April 4. He had an open lead most of the way in the Willard Proctor before tiring. He was beaten by 1 3/4 lengths.

"He had some problems that day," Bonde said. "He'd been rating well in training, but when the gate opened, he just took off. It's a big progression to go from two to 5 1/2 furlongs.

"He didn't have a work over the track, and the jockey's whip broke the first time he cracked him."

Neither Deputy Bertrando nor Younique Cat was a match for undefeated Imaginary Sailor in the Lost in the Fog. Bonde said that both his horse, Deputy Bertrando, and Younique Cat had trouble in that race.

"Maybe we'll see which one had more trouble when they meet in this race," he said. "If mine had a little more room, he would have run better."

Run Brother Ron has worked better than his entrymate, but Deputy Bertrando has begun to show more with a pair of bullet works over the Pleasanton track since the Lost in the Fog.

"He doesn't do a heck of a lot in the morning, but he puts his game face on in the afternoon," Bonde said.