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Bonapaw: Chamberlain Bridge Back on the Beam

Carl Moore Management’s 7-year-old gelding Chamberlain Bridge showed there was still some “fire in the furnace” when he proved clearly best by a length in the $75,000 Bonapaw Stakes on Santa Super Saturday at Fair Grounds.


Although the winner of the 2010 Grade II Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill, Chamberlain Bridge had run eighth in this year’s renewal, leading to speculation that “snow on the rooftop” had finally caught up to the Bret Calhoun trainee in the twilight of his racing years.


“He’s had a rough year,” admitted Calhoun in the winner’s circle after the Bonapaw, contested at about 5 1/2-furlongs over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course labeled “yielding” on Saturday. “Mentally, he didn’t seem to be quite the same this year, so it was nice to see him run a big race today. Maybe this will get his attention a little bit. Maybe this was a little bit of a wake-up call for him today.”


Chamberlain Bridge returned $8.40, $3.40 and $2.60, toured the distance in 1:03.41 and increased his career earnings to $1,732,231 with his 18th win in 39 career starts.


“The ‘Old Chamberlain Bridge’ showed up today,” said winning rider Jamie Theriot, who was also aboard for the Breeders’ Cup score of a year ago. “He broke very sharp (early splits of 22:38 and 45.52) and just kept going.”


Favored Country Day, owned by Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein and runner-up in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, closed willingly late to be easily second best, but could not catch the old veteran. Country Day paid $2.40 and $2.40, while Maynard Chatters’ Southern Style, 2 1/4-lengths farther back, returned $5 to show.



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