04/10/2007 11:00PM

Bordonaro going for Count Fleet repeat


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Bordonaro was scratched from the Grade 2 Potrero Grande last weekend at Santa Anita after drawing the rail, and he fared better for the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on Friday. He will break from post 5 in the six-horse field, and he will be a strong favorite to defend his title in the six-furlong sprint, which is part of a weeklong, season-ending cluster of stakes at Oaklawn known as the Racing Festival of the South.

Bordonaro's performance in last year's Count Fleet was one of the best races of his career. He won the six-furlong race in 1:08.60 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 115. He was flown here from Southern California on Saturday.

"As soon as they called me and said he drew the 1 hole, we had him booked up," said Bill Spawr, who trains Bordonaro. "He came in the day of the Potrero Grande. He was here before they ran the race."

Following last year's Count Fleet, Bordonaro went on to win the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup and finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. In his one start this year, he was third as the favorite in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita on Jan. 27. The race was won by eventual Potrero Grande winner Smokey Stover.

Spawr said that Richard Migliore, who rode Bordonaro for the first time in the Sunshine Millions, felt he took too much hold of the horse. Bordonaro sat second in the race and was beaten 4 3/4 lengths. The tactics should be different for the Count Fleet.

"I think Richie will probably take control of the race, letting him run early, and just see what happens," said Spawr.

Junior College and Semaphore Man, who finished one-two in the $50,000 Hot Springs, are among the chief threats to Bordonaro. Junior College, 3 for 3 at Oaklawn, will break from post 4.

"I hope he's just off the speed," said Tony Reinstedler, who trains Junior College. "I think he's a stalk-and-pounce type of horse."

Off Duty, who has won 5 of 9 starts, is a new player in the local sprint division following his allowance win off a seven-month layoff March 23. He drew post 6.

"I think he is a type of horse that would have a chance to come from off of it, if conditions demanded it," said Lynn Whiting, who trains Off Duty.