08/06/2012 1:17PM

Santa Rosa: Broken Sword to have plenty of company in Wine Country Debutante

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Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Broken Sword wins the Juan Gonzalez Memorial by 11 lengths.

You might think the presence of Broken Sword would scare off some opponents in Saturday’s Wine Country Debutante, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Broken Sword, a Jerry Hollendorfer trainee who won her debut by 11 lengths in the Juan Gonzalez at Pleasanton, is one of 15 2-year-old fillies nominated to the Wine Country Debutante at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The Wine Country Debutante will be run Saturday and the Cavonnier Juvenile for 2-year-olds will be run Sunday on closing weekend of the Sonoma County Fair meet. Each is at six furlongs and has a $75,000 purse.

If Broken Sword is not the best 2-year-old seen in Northern California this year, she easily has the most sensational performance. Her debut earned her an 80 Beyer – and that isn’t even the highest among the Debutante nominees.

The Jeff Bonde-trained Fightin Mean Mad recorded an 83 in her debut, which came at Arlington Park.

Bonde, who ran two against Broken Sword in the Juan Gonzalez, has two nominated to the Debutante. Hollendorfer has six of the 15 nominees.

The question for Broken Sword is: Whom did she beat in her debut? There has not been a next-out winner from the race, although third-place finisher Island Frolic did run second in a maiden special weight at Santa Rosa.

The same could be asked of Fighting Mean Mad, although the third-place finisher from her debut dropped into the claiming ranks and graduated in her next start.

There are six last-out winners nominated to the Debutante and three runners – all Hollendorfer trainees – who would be making their debuts.

There are 10 nominated to the Cavonnier Juvenile, including Native Treasure, who finished second to Anytime Magic in the Lost in the Fog at Golden Gate Fields and the Everett Nevin at Pleasanton.

Four of the other nominees were first-out winners: Bares Tripper at Del Mar, Biltmore Boogie and Zeewat at Santa Rosa, and My Best Bet at Calder.

Trainer Billy Morey, who has had success buying and importing 2-year-olds to Northern California, privately purchased My Best Bet for TNT racing.

Biltmore Boogie, bred, owned, and trained by Steve Specht, is the first California winner for millionaire McCann’s Mojave, whom Specht trained for Mike Willman. McCann’s Mojave’s first winner, who actually has a pair of wins in Mexico City, is Real Mojave Green.

Taking shots and hitting the target

Taking shots in stakes paid off for trainers Lloyd Mason and Keith Nations on Sunday. The Mason-trained Shudacudawudya won the five-furlong Jess Jackson Owners’ Handicap, pocketing $41,450 for owner Brett Mason, Lloyd’s son. Nations saw Control Seeker notch his first win of 2012, and the first stakes victory for owners Edward and Theresa DeNike, in the 1 1/16-mile Joseph T. Grace.

Shudacudawudya was making only his second start on the turf after being eased in his turf debut because he was slipping on the surface. Mason said he had confidence the 5-year-old California-bred gelding could handle the turf.

Shudacudawudya, who ran third in the Sam Whiting at Pleasanton, turned in three straight bullet works before the Jess Jackson.

Under Julien Couton, Shudacudawudya was sixth early in the field of seven in the Jess Jackson. He was in perfect position, stalking five runners who were blanketed across the track heads apart.

“That’s how he’s won most of his races,” said Mason.

Couton swung Shudacudawudya wide on the turf for a clear trip and they defeated odds-on favorite Ain’t No Other by a neck.

Ain’t No Other, who was first under the wire before being disqualified to third in last year’s inaugural running of the Jess Jackson, was five wide in the early pace duel, which may have cost him.

As for Control Seeker, owner Edward DeNike reminded Nations that the trainer had predicted a victory in the Joseph T. Grace two months ago.

Nations went into the race hoping the consistent Control Seeker would finally put everything together to get a win.

“Obviously, he got it the right day,” said Nations.

Control Seeker stalked a slow pace in the Grace and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Acaffella.

“I was a little concerned when I saw he was so close, but then I saw the fractions and felt confident,” Nations said. “This horse is putting on weight, and I felt he was starting to come around.”