06/25/2013 1:16PM

Pleasanton notes: Bonde right at home in Alameda County Fair winner’s circle

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Trainer Jeff Bonde plans to keep Saint Prado, a Kitten’s Joy colt, sprinting up to seven furlongs.

The happiest man at the Alameda County Fair last weekend was local Pleasanton trainer Jeff Bonde.

Bonde loves the fair and really loves winning in his hometown, and he had two impressive winners last weekend.

First-timer She’s a Tiger, a 2-year-old three-quarter-sister of multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter Smiling Tiger, popped the gate, had a four-length lead after the opening quarter, and won a five-furlong maiden race by nine lengths Saturday in 57.49 seconds.

On Sunday, Saint Prado returned to a sprint and finished strongly to win the six-furlong Livermore Valley Wine Stakes by one length over favored Outside Nashville in 1:09.36.

Bonde paid $150,000 last September at Keeneland for She’s a Tiger, whose sire is Tale of the Cat, a son of Storm Cat. Smiling Tiger’s sire is another son of Storm Cat, Hold That Tiger. Smiling Tiger was a $40,000 purchase at a Washington state sale in 2008.

Bonde was not surprised by She’s a Tiger’s performance, which was virtually a paid workout.

Bonde was attracted to the filly because she’s “got a similar body type as her brother.”

Next on the agenda will be the Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. Bonde said he would not nominate the filly to the Juan Gonzalez because her presence would likely “kill the race.”

Saint Prado broke sharply, but rider Frank Alvarado was content to let him drop back into a stalking position before making his winning move in the stretch.

“It couldn’t have gone any better than the way it unfolded,” Bonde said.

He plans to keep Saint Prado, a Kitten’s Joy colt, sprinting up to seven furlongs. He said one mile might also be possible. And with his breeding, Saint Prado also is a turf contender.

Let Faith Arise looks at Del Mar

Let Faith Arise turned in a strong effort in winning Saturday’s California Wine Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Her winning time of 1:09.31 was faster than Saint Prado’s.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said he will look at the Del Mar condition book to decide where the Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred will run next.

Runner-up Marks Mine, making her first start since March 30 at Santa Anita, also ran well, sitting just off Tribal Gal and putting her away in the lane before Let Faith Arise passed her.

Her trainer, Steve Specht, was pleased with her effort and even happier she came out of the race in good shape.

“She hadn’t run in quite a while. She caught a little virus and was with Mike Puype down there a couple months. She trained great, but really only had two good works and wasn’t as fit as you’d like.”

Specht said he might consider running against older fillies and mares in the State Fair Fillies and Mares Sprint at Sacramento on July 20.

Upcoming stakes nominations

Eleven runners were nominated for Sunday’s $50,000-added County of Alameda Handicap at 1 1/16 miles, including Blueskiesnrainbows, who was second in the Grade 2 Swaps and third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby last year; Control Seeker, who won two stakes on the fair circuit last summer; Summer Hit, coming off a win in the Grade 3 All American at Golden Gate; and multiple stakes winner Positive Response, who was second in the race last year when it was called The Alamedan.

Twelve were nominated for the $75,000 Casual Lies at six furlongs on July 4. Comma to the Top, a multiple graded sprint stakes winner, and Kinsale King, the 2010 Golden Shaneen winner, top the nominees, with Bonde nominating Dinstinctiv Passion, a 3-year-old who would make his first start since winning the San Pedro at Santa Anita on Jan. 21.

Special seminar on tap

Guests for the daily seminars at the Alameda County Fair this week are racing secretary Tom Doutrich on Thursday, trainer Steve Sherman on Friday, bloodstock agent Kyle Kaenel on Saturday, and Tom Quigley, publisher of HorsePlayer Magazine, on Sunday.

Saturday also will feature a special morning workout seminar at 8:30 a.m. The workout seminar is a ticketed event, with free tickets given out at the regular 11:30 a.m. seminars on previous days. Trainers Dan Morgan and John Anderson, former jockey and current stable director Jim Burns and Kaenel, who also used to ride, will answer questions at the event.

59 and counting for Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson, the 14-year-old mare who was the only mule to defeat both Black Ruby and Taz in their primes, scored her 59th victory in 110 starts Sunday, one day after full sisters Bar Jf Red Ticket (51-30-13-3) and Bar Jf Hot Ticket (65-47-10-4) met, with younger 8-year-old Red Ticket beating the 10-year-old Hot Ticket.

On Friday, Lil Sarah, a clone of Sarah Nelson, scored her first career victory and will be running again Thursday.

TOC board members re-elected

Trainer Billy Morey and owners Dr. George Todaro and Jack Owens were re-elected to three-year terms on the Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors.

At least three members of the board must represent Northern California. Morey and Owens, along with Dennis Cardoza and Ed Moger, are Northern California’s representatives, although Todaro, one of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s primary clients, has a number of horses based in Northern California.

M More than 1 year ago
Great article to footnote anyone who bad mouths the racing quality of fairs. Yes, they have some mule races, $2,500 claimers, quarter horses and arabians--but also top notch thoroughbreds, especially at some of the Northern Cal Fairs (some variation by time you get to Stockton)...That is what makes it fun for the fair crowd. Note the trainers and owners have made this one top notch for thoroughbred--note the well pedigreed 150K 2YO's, graded stakes runners, and what look like numerous minor stakes and allowance runners on the larger circuit. Bonde has several others with works as fast or faster than any your will see at BHP (albeit in faster dirt surface).