08/29/2002 11:00PM

Bonde packs San Mateo


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Jeff Bonde did all he could to make Sunday's $60,000-added San Mateo Stakes go at Bay Meadows.

He nominated four 2-year-olds and has entered three of the six who will run in the 5 1/2-furlong race.

"I was going to do everything I could to make sure the race went," Bonde said, noting that the racing office is often "quick to call off" overnight handicap races. "I even tried to nominate a fifth but was turned down because I was five minutes too late."

Bonde has the colt to beat in the race with Mr. Technique, who recorded his maiden victory by defeating multiple stakes-winning Taraval in the Redwood Empire Stakes at Santa Rosa on Aug. 4.

Mr. Technique will be joined by stablemates Bases are Loaded and Restrictions Apply, both of whom are maidens. The three run as separate entries because of different ownership.

Fun Loving Jake, Can I Do It, and Hawaiian Lyon, who edged Bases Are Loaded by a head when they met, round out the field. All three won their maiden races at the Bay Meadows Fair earlier this month.

Mr. Technique frustrated Bonde early in his training. Bonde called him a "lookie-Lou," an easily distracted horse, during morning drills.

In his debut at Vallejo, Mr. Technique raced greenly on the turn after apparently being distracted by the Ferris wheel and continued to run erratically through the stretch as he finished third.

He was all business in winning the Redwood Empire, beating Taraval by 3 1/2 lengths.

Bonde doesn't think the big race was a one-time-only effort.

"That horse has improved," Bonde said, noting a solid workout after the victory "where we broke him off behind another horse, and he ran well. You want to put them in situations they haven't seen. You can't just dominate up front, so in the mornings, you put them in situations where they have to overcome things.

"It's just like drafting somebody in the NFL. You can't walk in and dominate. They put you in situations where you learn."

It's even better when you can both learn and win.

"Horses are just like fighters," Bonde said. "When they string wins together, they'll give you an extra 10 percent."

Bonde believes his other two entrants have a chance.

"Bases Are Loaded ran a winning race," he said. "He galloped past the winner [Hawaiian Lyon] past the wire.

"Restrictions Apply ran some bang-up races at Bay Meadows. At the fairs, he didn't duplicate those races. I think not having to ship to race will help him."