Smalltown Slew Lukewarm Choice in Bonapaw

Steve Mongerson's Smalltown Slew, a close second in the opening day Thanksgiving Handicap, is the tepid 7-2 morning line choice over a full field for the inaugural running of the $75,000 Bonapaw Stakes Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.

The Bonapaw, to be contested at about 5 1/2 furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course, is for 3-year-olds and up and is named for the locally based grade I winning sprinter.

In the Thanksgiving, Smalltown Slew was bumped at the start, raced five wide most of the way, and could not catch the front-running Cort's P.B., but was easily second best. In his previous start, the 5-year-old son of Evansville Slew was second over Keeneland's Polytrack course Oct. 14, and before that was runner-up in Turfway's $72,000 Marfa Stakes Sept. 16.

John Pierce II's Mystery Classic, an invader from the Lone Star State, is the 4-1 second choice in the Bonapaw. The sophomore gelding has won his last six starts, most recently by 1 3/4 lengths in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes Dec. 2 at Sam Houston. Before that, he captured Retama's $40,000 Watson McManus Memorial Stakes by five lengths Oct. 14.

Contenders Storm Surge and Big Top Cat are both owned by Overbrook Farm. Believe Im Special is on the also-eligible list.

Fair Grounds - December 23rd, 2006 - Race 9
Bonapaw S. - Grade:
Estimated Local Post Time:     4:06 PM
Race Type: Stakes
Breed: Thoroughbred
Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
Purse: $75,000
Distance:About About Five And One Half Furlongs
Surface: Turf
Post Horse Name Age Sex Weight Jockey Name
1 Mystery Classic (TX) 3 Gelding 116 Bobby J. Walker, Jr.
2 Smalltown Slew (MS) 5 Gelding 118 Corey J. Lanerie
3 Chosen Chief (KY) 7 Gelding 118 Robby Albarado
4 Middleweight (KY) 6 Gelding 118 Lonnie Meche
5 Gaff (KY) 4 Colt 118 Donnie J. Meche
6 Storm Surge (KY) 4 Colt 118 Carlos Gonzalez
7 Monkey Hill (CA) 5 Horse 118 Joseph Talamo
8 All Wired Up (LA) 4 Colt 118 Marlon St. Julien
9 Big Top Cat (KY) 4 Colt 118 James Graham
10 Rodeo's Castle (FL) 5 Gelding 118 Jesse M. Campbell
11 Venomous (TX) 4 Colt 118 Elvis Joseph Perrodin
12 Shrewd Deputy (KY) 5 Horse 118 Cody Meche
AE Believe Im Special (LA) 7 Gelding 118 Gerard Melancon