Updated on 09/17/2011 8:51PM

Bonde unveils his prize acquisition


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Jeff Bonde didn't have to rent any videos while stabled at Del Mar last summer.

Bonde and his wife were fascinated watching a Peruvian runner, Zorro Rojo, on a tape given to them by long-time trainer Dent Caton.

Friday, Bonde will let everyone else see what he saw when Zorro Rojo makes his U.S. debut in the Bay Meadows feature, a six-furlong allowance race.

"A guy sent Dent Caton tapes of him, and my wife and I kept watching them while we were at Del Mar," Bonde said. "She wanted to watch them every night, and the more I watched him, the more I liked him."

Bonde nominated to Monday's President's Day Sprint, which was canceled, but did not enter him, saying he preferred to run him through his allowance conditions.

Because purses in Peru are so small, Zorro Rojo qualifies for the first-level allowance race despite having won a Grade 1 race there. He also has a first-level Peruvian allowance victory and has won 3 of 4 starts, finishing second in his debut.

Bonde purchased two horses from Peru last fall, and Zorro Rojo, whose owner, Gabriela Alvarez, retained a half-share, will be the first of the two to start for Bonde.

"We've given him time to acclimate," Bonde said.

Zorro Rojo drew the outside post in the field of nine. While the race is what Bonde calls a "starting point," he said he expects Zorro Rojo to run well.

"In his country, he ran close to the pace," Bonde said. "To me, he looks like the type that will go on."

Zorro Rojo has a pair of five-furlong bullet works over the track and also has works of six and seven furlongs and one mile.

, who comes off a nine-length victory, will try to set the pace. He has the highest last-race Beyer, but the victory came in a bottom-level claiming race.

and Chilean-bred Zona De Impacto could provide the toughest competition.

Gohalo has topped the $100,000 mark in career earnings but has only 3 victories in 45 starts. He stalked the pace in a similar spot in his last start, finishing second in a fast race.

Zona De Impacto is still looking for his first U.S. victory in two years. Back from an eight-month layoff last out, Zona De Impacto was fractious in the gate and raced wide on the turn before finishing fifth in a fast allowance race Jan. 23. He has since put in three good works, including a bullet.