04/01/2008 11:00PM

Sierra Sunset getting therapy and a breather


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Sierra Sunset, who came out of his victory in the March 15 Rebel at Oaklawn with a small ankle fracture, will undergo treatment in a hyperbaric chamber to aid healing, said his trainer, Jeff Bonde. Sierra Sunset flew back to California from Arkansas on Tuesday.

Bonde said surgery is not required for the injury, which is in Sierra Sunset's left front ankle, and that the hyperbaric treatment will last a week. Horses are exposed to highly pressurized oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber, which is thought to accelerate healing. After the treatment, Sierra Sunset will get a 90-day break at co-owner George Schmitt's ranch in the Lake Tahoe area.

San Mateo may get offtrack site

A satellite wagering facility at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds is in the planning stages, fair officials said last week. The facility could open as early as late August, and would give local bettors a place to go when Bay Meadows closes.

The satellite facility would have two betting halls and a courtyard area. One hall would be used during weekdays, with the second hall available for weekends and major racing days.

Bay Meadows officials have said the current meeting and this summer's San Mateo County Fair meet will probably be the last at the track before it is closed and turned into a residential and business development. The planned closing of Bay Meadows will be addressed at an April 8 San Mateo city planning commission meeting and an April 21 city council meeting.

Fridays move to evenings

Bay Meadows begins its series of Friday-night cards this week with first post at 7:20 p.m.

Jeff Bonde will send out the improving Night Brite in the feature, a $25,000 optional claiming race for California-breds at one mile. A 4-year-old gelding, Night Brite will have seven rivals, including the entry of TJ's Dixie and High in the Air.

Night Brite has hit the board in all four of his starts this year. His season began Jan. 5, when he was stretched out around two turns for the first time and ran third in a $12,500 claimer. He then won two straight one-mile races in $12,500 conditioned company. He was second in a $25,000 optional claimer on the turf on March 16 in his last start.

Bonde said Night Brite has become "more professional," which accounts for his recent success.

There seems to be enough pace in the race to give Night Brite a chance to use his stalking tactics to best advantage.

Friday-night racing will continue through the end of the meet, May 11, with the exception of May 2, which is Kentucky Oaks Day. There will be entertainment each Friday, along with $1 general admission, beer, hot dogs, sodas, and programs. The bands AC/DShe and High Voltage will provide the entertainment on Friday. Subsequent entertainment will be provided by Journey Unauthorized (April 11), The Cheeseballs (April 18), Super Diamond (April 25), and Tainted Love (May 9).

Bonfante out for repeat

Defending champion Bonfante drew the rail in a field of nine for Saturday's $100,000 California Turf Sprint Championship for California-breds going five furlongs on turf. A 7-year-old gelding, Bonfante is coming off a win in the Grade 3 Bay Meadows Sprint Handicap on the dirt here. He has 2 wins and a second in 3 tries over the local turf.

The speedball Tribesman will make his turf debut in the California Turf Sprint Championship after finishing fourth and last in the Bay Meadows Sprint. He may be challenged early on Saturday by Vaderator, who set the pace in Bonfante's win in the race last year.

Vicarino, who dueled himself and Tribesman into defeat in the Bay Meadows Sprint, is not running in the Turf Sprint Championship. Trainer Greg Gilchrist said Vicarino will run in next Thursday's $150,000 Count Fleet at Oaklawn.