01/11/2012 4:20PM

Bonde sets up shop at Oaklawn Park


Trainer Jeff Bonde swept into Oaklawn from California a year ago and won two stakes during the Racing Festival of the South. He’s back again this season, but much earlier in the meet, with a 20-horse division. Bonde also is racing at Santa Anita and Golden Gate and said there were a couple of reasons to branch out to Oaklawn.

“We try to maximize with the horses we have,” he said. “We enjoy racing there, and the money’s good.”

Bonde said his local group of horses includes Twice the Appeal, winner of the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby last year who is to run in the Fifth Season on Friday.

“We’ve also got a bunch of young horses,” he said.

Bonde, who won the Count Fleet with Smiling Tiger during last year’s festival, said the horse is now under consideration for a trip to Dubai. However, another runner from his barn could make the Count Fleet.

“Sway Away is two works from a race,” he said. “He could show up for the festival, in the Count Fleet.”

Sway Away, who was fourth in last year’s Arkansas Derby, last raced in June and won an allowance sprint at Hollywood Park with a 103 Beyer.

◗ The Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14 is scheduled to be broadcast on CNBC, said David Longinotti, assistant general manager of racing for Oaklawn.

◗ Longinotti said Oaklawn’s races will be available this meet to both HRTV and TVG. In the recent past, the track had not been shown on TVG.

◗ Jamie Richardson is the new track superintendent. He is in from Maryland.