11/06/2012 1:32PM

Golden Gate: Bonde satisfied with win and a third on Breeders' Cup Saturday

Barbara D. Livingston
Unusual Way, trained by Jeff Bonde and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, wins the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Sprint Preview.

Northern California trainer Jeff Bonde had a good day at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Smiling Tiger, coming off throat surgery and making his first start since running fifth in the Grade 1 Triple Bend at Hollywood Park on June 30, ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at 20-1. The Bonde-trained Unusual Way captured the seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Sprint Preview Stakes in wire-to-wire style in her first start since winning the Wine Country Debutante at Santa Rosa on Aug. 11.

Longtime Bonde client Phil Lebherz owns a share of both horses, owning Smiling Tiger with Alan Klein and Unusual Waywith Edward J. Brown Jr.

Smiling Tiger was beaten three lengths by Sprint winner Trinniberg and outfinished Sum of the Parts to take third by a nose. It was a $58,500 photo, the difference between the third- and fourth-place payouts, and increased the 5-year-old’s earnings to $1,420,704. Smiling Tiger was also third in the 2010 Sprint.

“He ran good, considering he’d been off a long time,” Bonde said. “We trained him hard to get him ready.”

A 5-year-old Hold That Tiger horse who has three Grade 1 wins, Smiling Tiger is slated to run next year, Bonde said.

Unusual Way, bred in Northern California by Tom Bachman, has a very bright future after winning the Juvenile Fillies Sprint Preview by 3 1/2 lengths. She ran the seven furlongs in 1:23.50.

“That was pretty exciting,” Bonde said. “The filly ran very well. She tore her foot up after the Santa Rosa race, and we had to wait for it to grow back.”

Unusual Way, a $65,000 Barretts yearling purchase last October, increased her lead in the final furlong, and Bonde is confident she should be able to handle two turns.

Ultimately, her future could be on the turf. Unusual Way is by Unusual Heat, a leading turf sire, and her multiple-stakes-placed dam Way Up scored four of her seven victories on the turf. Unusual Way is a half sister of stakes-placed Wavy Lass, who was a good sprinter and went 4 for 13 on the turf.

“It’s pretty exciting thinking about what she might accomplish,” said Bonde, who has made no plans yet for her next start.

And although it may not match the excitement of Unusual Way’s victory, Bonde did send out Slippery Slewp for an $8,000 maiden-claiming victory for Lebherz, Brown, and Richard Meister on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.

Representing Northern California

Also on Saturday, two horses with Northern California ties ran in the Classic.

The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Nonios, who made his first three starts in Northern California, finished sixth. Handsome Mike, who ran third as the favorite in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, finished ninth.

Aaron Gryder, who returned to Southern California this fall after riding for a year in Northern California, won the Marathon on Friday aboard 9-year-old Argentine invader Calidoscopio.

Russell Baze finished seventh aboard longshot Class Included in the Ladies’ Classic.

Charlie Palmer two-three rematched

Condiment and My Best Bet, who finished second and third in the one-mile Charlie Palmer at Fresno on Oct. 8, will skip Saturday’s $50,000-added Golden Nugget at six furlongs and run Friday in a one-mile allowance.

Condiment’s trainer, Joe Brook, said he preferred all along to run his horse in the allowance and would have headed out of town if the race hadn’t filled.

“If the mile race hadn’t gone, I was set to go to Hollywood Park where there was a first-condition allowance race in the book,” he said.

Condiment is being pointed to the one-mile Gold Rush at Golden Gate on Dec. 8.

“I can’t say we wouldn’t sprint him later, but we’re looking ahead to routing him now,” Brook said.

Trainer Billy Morey said he preferred to keep My Best Bet going long, too.

He is adding blinkers to My Best Bet’s equipment Friday.

“It seemed like at Fresno last time he lost interest on the turn, so we hope this keeps him a little more focused,” Morey said.

Twenty-four were nominated for the Golden Nugget. Early indications are that Anytime Magic, winner of the Lost in the Fog at Golden Gate and the Everett Nevin at Pleasanton, and Zeewat, who won the Cavonnier at Santa Rosa, are going to run.

Also expected for the Golden Nugget are the maiden winners Go Mojave Go and Outside Nashville and starter allowance winner Epic Electorate.