04/13/2007 12:00AM

Bordonaro repeats in Count Fleet


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The decision to scratch Bordonaro from last weekend's Grade 2 Potrero Grande at Santa Anita and ship to Oaklawn Park for the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap paid dividends on Friday, as he defended his title in the Count Fleet with a front-running, half-length win over Semaphore Man.

“It was worth the trip,” said Bill Spawr, who trains Bordonaro.

Spawr scratched Bordonaro from the Potrero Grande after he drew the rail post, and immediately made plans to send him to Arkansas. Bordonaro broke from post 5 in the Count Fleet, and rocketed right to the lead in the six-furlong race. Bordonaro set fractions of 22.11 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.24 for a half-mile before going on to win over a track rated fast in 1:09.11. Bordonaro paid $2.80 to win.

"He’s awesome," said Richard Migliore, who rode Bordonaro.

Semaphore Man made a strong bid up the rail, but Bordonaro remained in command late in the Count Fleet.

"As long as he saw him, he wasn’t going to let him get by," said Migliore. "He’s a very competitive horse."

Spawr said Bordonaro will be considered for the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 12. He said the year-end goal remains the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Bordonaro earned $90,000 for the Count Fleet win, which was his 10th from 15 starts. He has now earned $876,794. Bordonaro is a 6-year-old gelding by Memo and he races for Fred Carrillo and Daniel Cassella.

The Count Fleet win was the third for Spawr, who in addition to Bordonaro’s two victories here here captured this race in 1986 with Mister Gennaro.

The Count Fleet continued the annual Racing Festival of the South, when Oaklawn runs nine stakes worth a cumulative $2.8 million over the final week of the meet. The season will close Saturday with the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby. Attendance here Friday was 21,715.