04/17/2008 11:00PM

Owner keeps an eye on one that got away


Bob Bone will have an interesting perspective on the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park next Sunday.

When he stands in the paddock, Bone will be focused on Overland, a Harlan's Holiday colt that will be his starter in the race for 3-year-old California-breds.

Do not be surprised if Bone peeks across the paddock occasionally to check on Bamaha Breeze, a colt he bred and saw claimed away for $20,000 in January.

Bamaha Breeze is unbeaten in four starts, three of which have come for trainer Steve Miyadi, who took him from Bone.

Bone thought he was getting away with sneaky move when he put Bamaha Breeze into a low-priced claimer for his career debut. But he got caught.

"I thought we were taking a little edge," he said. "I wouldn't have entered him for maiden 20 if I thought he'd be like this. It's disappointing but it's part of the game. If I enter him for $20,000, it's my own deal. I don't get upset or cry about it. I've claimed some good ones and some bad ones."

Bone, of Shingle Springs, Calif., has been active claiming horses for years. He is well-known for claiming Choctaw Nation for $40,000 in 2004 and watching the horse develop into a multiple stakes winner and millionaire.

Bone thinks Overland can be a factor in the Snow Chief Stakes, the richest race on the California Gold Rush program, which includes 10 stakes for statebreds.

So far, Overland has been a successful acquisition for Bone and partner Jim Vlahos. They claimed Overland for $32,000 at Golden Gate Fields last November and have watched him earn $29,320 since.

Overland, trained by Steve Sherman, has won 2 of 7 starts and $40,420. For Bone and Vlahos, Overland has won a starter allowance, finished eighth in the $150,000 California Derby, and second in two optional claiming races around two turns.

The second-place finishes were a disappointment to Bone, even though Overland was closing late.

"I think we made a good claim," Bone said. "I really expected him to win both times, but he got behind a slow pace. In the California Derby, he was a little disappointing. I think he's one of those horses that the further he goes, the better.

"He'll be a little outmatched, class-wise," Bone said of the Snow Chief, which is run over 1 1/8 miles. "I think a lot of them won't get the distance, but he'll get the distance for sure. He'll come running and pick up horses. I don't know if he's talented enough."

Bone was attracted to Overland because of his breeding. The colt is out of Lookn at a Blurr, by Murrtheblurr. Lookn at a Blurr is the dam of Lookn Mighty Fine, another remarkable claim for Bone earlier this decade.

Bone claimed Lookn Mighty Fine in Fresno in October 2000 for $6,250 and watched her develop into the winner of the Sun City Handicap at Turf Paradise in 2001 before losing her for $62,500 in summer 2001. A year later, Bone claimed Lookn Mighty Fine again, this time for $50,000. She later won the 2002 Las Madrinas Handicap at Fairplex Park before Bone lost her in an $80,000 claiming race.

Overland is by Harlan's Holiday, who stands in Kentucky. Overland was registered as a California-bred after Lookn at a Blurr was bred back to a California stallion.

As for Bamaha Breeze, he still generates breeders awards for Bone.

"When people claim from me, I wish them great luck, except when I run against them," he said. "Then, I wish them good luck."