07/28/2005 11:00PM

Speedballs set up Bonfante


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Sunday's six-furlong, $50,000-added Ernest Finley Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair will be a drag race.

Flying Supercon, who drew the rail, Trickey Trevor, from post 2, and El Dorado Shooter, from post 6, will all be gunning early, and each can get the opening quarter-mile in less than 22 seconds.

Bonfante, who drew post 7, could be the beneficiary. He, too, is capable of a sub-22-second opening quarter, but he makes his move in the second quarter, where he is capable of running another sub-22 split, or very close to it.

The question then becomes, Who will crack first? Or will all four crack, setting things up for Kool Suggestion, third behind Bonfante and Flying Supercon in their past two meetings? Tonco and Tenth Street could also be closing.

One of racing's standard axioms is that pace makes the race, and the pace will be sizzling here.

Flying Supercon's trainer, Dan Morgan, has no choice but to gun from the rail, not that the option would be different from a different post.

"That's his style," Morgan said. "I'd rather be outside. Horses seem to leave a little better when they're outside."

Flying Supercon has led after the opening quarter-mile in his past six starts and got the jump on Trickey Trevor last time in the Sam Whiting at Pleasanton.

Trickey Trevor, who put together a six-race winning streak after returning from a year's layoff last fall, had his first poor effort of the year in the Whiting. He is unlikely to concede anything Sunday.

The new face in the mix is an old face, El Dorado Shooter, who set the pace in the Iowa Sprint Handicap on July 4 in his first start since last year's Finley.

"That helped him a lot. He needed it badly," trainer Cliff DeLima said. "I'm sure he's not what he used to be, but he'll give 'em hell for a while, and I don't think anyone who challenges him early will be there at the end."

Trainer Steve Specht said he hopes the outside post will help Bonfante win his third straight stakes.

"I'm glad to draw the outside with all the speed inside," he said. "The only thing I worry about is getting stuck wide outside them on the turn. With those three horses, we should be in the garden spot. I hope we can tuck in behind them and fan wide past them into the stretch."

That's exactly how the race shapes up, making Bonfante the one to beat.