10/20/2003 12:00AM

Bonus Pay Day likely to run well off layoff


ARCADIA, Calif. - Bonus Pay Day earned a break during the Del Mar meeting after he suffered a minor injury when he put a leg over the webbing in front of his stall.

The unfortunate incident was preceded by consecutive losses to major stakes winners Bluesthestandard, Joey Franco, Candy Ride, and Sky Jack - and a ninth-place finish in an allowance race on July 26.

All of that led to a vacation for Bonus Pay Day, who has won 9 of 40 starts and $391,371 for a partnership that includes Frank Alesia.

On Wednesday, Bonus Pay Day makes his first start in nearly three months, in a $58,000 optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles. He faces a solid field that includes three stakes winners over the last two years.

Daunting, the winner of the Claiming Crown Jewel at Canterbury Park in July, returns following a last-place finish in the Pomona Invitational at Fairplex Park on Sept. 28.

USS Tinosa and Labamta Babe, stakes winners here in early 2002, are attempting to revive their careers after disappointing races in recent months.

McDab takes a jump in class after scoring a hard-fought win in an allowance race at Del Mar on Aug 24.

Bonus Pay Day is not entered to be claimed, but could have been bought out of a similar race for $100,000 last January, which was his most recent win. The victory came after a 60-day break, which gives trainer Peter Eurton hope that Bonus Pay Day can be effective off the layoff on Wednesday. "He's run well fresh," Eurton said.

The stall accident at Del Mar did not result in a serious injury. "He was just beat up," Eurton said.

Earlier this year, Bonus Pay Day ran well despite losing against top company.

In March, he was third, beaten a length by Bluesthestandard, a candidate for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

In the Tiznow Stakes for statebreds on April 26 at Hollywood Park, Bonus Pay Day finished second to Joey Franco, who subsequently won three stakes, including the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap.

On June 7 at Hollywood Park, Bonus Pay Day was third to Candy Ride, who went on to win the American Handicap at Pacific Classic.

Bonus Pay Day's form began to tail off on July 5, when he ran fourth behind race winner, Sky Jack, who later won the Longacres Mile.

Wednesday's race is not only a confidence-booster but also a potential prep to the $250,000 California Cup Classic on Nov. 8. Last year, Bonus Pay Day finished a troubled seventh in that race.