Marchman Gets Class Relief in Bonapaw
December 29, 2015 06:28am
A dozen turf dashers have assembled for the $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 2, over 5½ grassy furlongs on Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ Stall-Wilson turf course. For 4-year-olds and upward, the first stakes of 2016 is topped by Martin Racing Stable’s Marchman, who takes a significant drop in class from the Grade I $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in which he finished ninth for trainer Bret Calhoun. A winner of one of three tries over the local surface, the son of Sharp Humor is a graded stakes-winning 6-year-old-to-be looks to regain the form that saw him annex two turf sprint graded stakes in 2014. Robby Albarado, aboard for those wins, has the return call from post nine.

Clark Brewster’s consistent Bayerd looks to be spotted well for his turf debut. A son of top multi-surface sire Speightstown, he has two stakes victories to his credit and has finished in the money in five stakes in 2015. Florent Geroux, who rode Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mongolian Saturday, will be aboard from post 11 for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Two who should respected here are Bond Stables et al.’s Speightsong and Robert Persons and Earl Conrad Sanderson’s Officer Griffin. Another son of Speightstown, Speightsong has been pointed to this race since making his debut for new trainer Grant Forster in the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap on Nov. 26, finishing a game fourth. Returning to the grass, the half-brother to Grade I turf specialist Up With the Birds might improve when he breaks from post six under Leandro Goncalves. Second in the aforementioned Thanksgiving Handicap was Joe Sharp trainee Officer Griffin, who has since finished a gritty third in the $106,000 Claiming Crown Canterbury Stakes – losing by less than a length. Brian Hernandez, Jr., picks up the mount from the rail.

A wicked speed duel could develop in this turf dash, as three charges – Jack Frost’s Billy Two Hats (Jesus Castanon, post three), Maggi Moss’ Tanner’s Popsicle (Mitchell Murrill, post four) and L T B Inc. and Miles Childers’ streaking Vigorous Titan (Victor Lebron, post eight) seem to run the optimal when they get to the front early. Vigorous Titan, who returns on two weeks’ rest, will bring a three-race six-furlong main track winning streak into the Bonapaw and look to improve upon a 0-for-3 turf record.

The remainder of the Bonapaw field is comprised of Sylven Park (Francisco Torres, post three), Reflector (Richard Eramia, post five), Attain (Miguel Mena, post seven), Win Lion Win (Kerwin Clark, post 10) and Eden Grey’s Kitten (Gerard Melancon, post 12).

Source: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots


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