Glen Hill Farm's Bonus Pack, ridden by jockey Kent Desormeaux, outgamed Mont Saint Michel in the stretch to win the featured $81,065 Escondido Handicap at 1 3/8 miles over the Jimmy Durante turf course at Del Mar on Wednesday. Bonus Pack, a 5-year-old son of Colonial Affair, hit the wire a half-length in front of 10-1 Mont Saint Michel, with 5-2 favored Asong for Billy another length back in third place. National Anthem was fourth in the field of nine marathoners. Bonus Pack, trained by Tom Proctor, went postward at 9-2 and paid $11.60 while picking up a purse of $48,705 with his first triumph since January and seventh from 29 starts over-all. The gelding ran the distance in a fast 2:12 2/5, only two-fifths of a second slower than the course mark set by Delta Form in the 2002 Del Mar Handicap. Delta Form finished sixth today.
"He's a real handy horse, but like Tom (trainer Tom Proctor) told me, he can be a little deceiving," Desormeaux said. "I had a good trip and he ran great. But a horse like this, you've got to get after him. He can get to running, but wind up running in one place. That's why I got so busy on him. There are some horses you need to ask, and some you need to tell. You've got to tell this one." "This horse has always run good, but this year he's been kind of in and out," Proctor said. "I always thought he'd like the grass and more distance will help him, too. This horse ran four really bad races as a 2-year-old and I put him on the grass and he ran six real good ones, but never won. Then I put him back on the dirt and he went to running again, so I was kind of scared to switch back."(Chart, Equibase)