07/30/2005 11:00PM

Santa Rosa: Bonfante cruises in Ernest Finley Handicap


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Bonfante ($4) got a dream trip, making his patented move on the turn and cruised through the stretch to record an easy four-length victory over Tonco in Sunday's $65,625 Ernest Finley Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair.

Bonfante was fourth as Trickey Trevor and Flying Supercon battled for the lead with El Dorado Shooter sitting third. El Dorado Shooter was done heading into the turn and Flying Supercon, who broke from the rail inside Trickey Trevor, began to falter midway around the turn.

Bonfante pulled along side Trickey Trevor as they reached the quarter pole and quickly opened into the lane after running a 21.48 second quarter. His winning time for six furlongs was 1:09.17.

Tonco, who went to his nose at the start, rallied for second with Tenth Street third and Kool Suggestion fourth as the early leaders faded in the lane.

"It shaped up like I thought it would. My horse ran like I expected," said winning trainer Steve Specht, who will point the 4-year-old gelding to the Cal Cup Sprint.

"This horse has been haunting me. I've been working him, but I didn't get a chance to ride him until today," said winning rider Dennis Carr, who had been second to Bonfante aboard Flying Supercon in the Sam Whiting at Pleasanton.

Winning his third straight stakes, Bonfante earned $35,850 to lift his bankroll to $211,682 with six victories in 14 starts.