09/06/2001 12:00AM

Budroyale takes aim at Pomona


POMONA, Calif. - The 8-year-old veteran Budroyale - Tiznow's older brother - has almost done it all. His 17 wins include graded stakes at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Emerald Downs; he has earned $2.8 million; and he flirted with fame in 1999 when he finished second in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Budroyale's resume will be incomplete, however, until he wins the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap at Fairplex Park. Trainer Ted H. West said Thursday that Budroyale will point for the Sept. 23 Pomona, the biggest race of the Los Angeles County Fair meet. If he goes, Budroyale would become the richest starter in track history. Free House earned $3.1 million, but he competed at Fairplex when he was 2, winning a maiden race.

Budroyale, owned by Jeff Sengara, won a $40,000 claiming race at Fairplex in 1997, and he finished second in the Pomona in 1998.

"Seeing as how I know [Budroyale] likes that track, it would be a good starting point for him," West said.

It certainly will be easier than the races he contested at Del Mar. On July 29, returning from a 14-month layoff, Budroyale finished a distant fourth in the San Diego Handicap, won by Skimming. Second start back, on Sept. 2, he finished fifth, beaten nearly 12 lengths by El Corredor.

Budroyale's rivals in the Pomona are expected to include Native Desert, whose three Fairplex stakes wins include the 1999 Pomona Handicap; and 2000 Pomona Derby winner L'Effaceur.

The remainder of the Pomona Handicap field may be determined Saturday at Fairplex, where a field of nine entered the $50,000 Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. The top contenders include two-time Fairplex stakes winner Moore's Flat, comebacker Bolchina's Prize, graded stakes winner Grey Memo, and consistent allowance runner Yazzero.

Moore's Flat, whose Fairplex stakes wins include the 1999 Shepherd and 2000 C.B. Afflerbaugh, was claimed Aug. 8 for $80,000 by trainer Jeff Mullins and owner Steve Bartlett. A 7-year-old, Moore's Flat has won 13 of 48 and could give Mullins two possibilities for the Pomona. He also trains L'Effaceur.

Bolchina's Prize will be starting for the first time since trainer Juan Garcia claimed him June 22 for $50,000. Garcia said the 7-year-old Bolchina's Prize's campaign stalled because of a quarter crack that became infected. A win by Bolchina's Prize would give Garcia two Pomona Handicap bullets. He also trains Native Desert.

It has been 13 years since a Shepherd winner captured the Pomona in the same season. But, even if that streak should continue, Saturday's race will establish current form over the five-eighths mile Fairplex oval.

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