Updated on 09/17/2011 11:53PM

Bordonaro leads throughout in Underwood

Bordonaro and Patrick Valenzuela win the Grade 3, $98,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes on Saturday at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Bill Spawr had the option of keeping Bordonaro against California-breds in the On Trust Handicap on Sunday or going for bigger game in the Grade 3, $98,000 on Saturday. A little more than 68 seconds after Bordonaro broke out of the gate, Spawr's decision to aim high was proven correct.

Bordonaro leaped out of the gate with jockey Patrick Valenzuela, took the track from favored Captain Squire, and sped to a front-running victory in the Underwood to earn his first graded stakes win. He won by three lengths over Turnbolt, who ran past a tiring Captain Squire to take second by 1 3/4 lengths. Lifestyle trailed in the field of four. Indian Country, the other horse entered in the race, was scratched after warming up. Track stewards reported that he was off in his right front leg.

Bordonaro ($6.60) has been conservatively managed by Spawr, despite a glowing record that now finds him with six wins in eight starts. Spawr said it was not until this fall that Bordonaro seemed to mature from a chronic hind-end problem that caused him to crossfire with his hind legs.

"I just think he outgrew it," Spawr said.

Bordonaro prepped for the Underwood with a victory against Cal-breds in the Cal Cup Starter Sprint Handicap on Nov. 6, in which he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 111. He has run 1:08 and change for six furlongs in his last three main-track victories, including an Underwood clocking of 1:08.11 on the fast main track. His fractions Saturday were 21.60 seconds for the opening quarter and 43.96 for the half.

Bordonaro, 4, is a gelding by Memo out of the Rajab mare Miss Excitement. He was bred and is owned by Fred Carrillo and Dan Casella.

Captain Squire was favored off a sharp series of races this summer and fall, including a victory in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. He wore front leg wraps for the first time in the Underwood.

Stevie Wonderboy works

In his first work since capturing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile five weeks earlier, Stevie Wonderboy breezed a half-mile in 48 seconds on Saturday morning at Hollywood Park.

Doug O'Neill, who trains Stevie Wonderboy, said the work was similar to what Stevie Wonderboy did the week of the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park, when Stevie Wonderboy worked effortlessly, but turned in a sharp time.

"It was one of those works where it looked like he was galloping, it never really looked like he was accelerating, and he went the last three furlongs in 35 seconds after going off in 13," O'Neill said. "He was going easy. We're on the road now to his next start in mid-January."

Stevie Wonderboy is scheduled to make his first start at age 3 in the San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 14. On Jan. 23, he is expected to be announced as the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2005.