Bonapaw Heads Saturday's Arlington Sprint Challengers

(From track report)
Jimmy & Dennis Richard's Bonapaw is likely to be a heavy favorite in a compact field of five in Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Sprint, a six-furlong dash for 3-year-olds & upward at Arlington Park.

A son of Sabona, Bonapaw is making his second start of the local season after capturing the Hanshin Cup (gr. III) at Arlington July 20. In that one-turn mile race, the 6-year-old gelding broke sharply, drew off to a four-length lead after a half-mile, repelled a hallenge at the top of the stretch and sped home by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:34.

The Hanshin was the third win in five starts this year for Bonapaw, who also captured the $75,000 Colonel Power Handicap and the $100,000 Taylor's Special Handicap, both at the Fair Grounds. The Norman Miller-trained runner will shoulder high impost of 124 pounds, including jockey Gerard Melancon, and will spot his rivals from five to nine pounds.

The Ron Brandenburg-owned and trained Tic N Tin, who dropped a nose decision in last year's Sprint to three-time race winner Bet On Sunshine, looks for his sixth victory of season and third in succession.

The 7-year-old Illinois-bred horse won the $50,000 Zen Handicap over state-bred rivals at Arlington August 4 and beat open company foes in the $25,000 Shecky Greene Handicap at downstate Fairmount Park in his last two starts.

His 2002 ledger also shows a local score in the $75,000 White Oak Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day, June 22. Shane Laviolette has the mount aboard the son of Lac Ouimet, who will carry 119 pounds Saturday.

Also in at 119 pounds is A.A.C. Stable's Secret Romeo. The Michigan-bred son of Service Stripe has won five stakes races at five different tracks in 2002. In his last start, the 4-year-old colt captured the $88,000 Harvey Arneault Memorial Handicap at Mountaineer Park.

Secret Romeo has also won stakes races this year at Tampa Bay Downs, Sportsman's Park, Great Lakes Downs and Thistledown. Terry Houghton comes in from Michigan to ride the Gerald Bennett charge.

Weighted at 118 pounds is Thunderhead Farms' Sand Ridge. A 7-year-old son of Known Fact, Sand Ridge carries a three-race win streak into the Arlington sprint.

Last time out, the Don Von Hemel charge was a nose victor in the $150,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap July 4 at Prairie Meadows. Previously, he won a conditioned allowance race here in June and the $50,000 Bob Feller Stakes in Iowa the previous month. Rene Douglas has been named to handle the reins.

Completing the field is John Franks' Halo Cat, making his first start since finishing second in an optional claiming/beaten allowance at Arlington July 21 that snapped a four-race win skein. The Southern Halo colt captured the $30,000 Manor Sprint Classic in Oklahoma May 26 and the $50,000 Kings Court Stakes at Louisiana Downs June 28 as the final two starts of the streak.

Halo Cat has been assigned 115 pounds for Saturday's engagement. Robby Albarado gets the call from trainer Don Von Hemel.

$100,000 Arlington Sprint
PP Horse, Weight (Jockey)
1 Sand Ridge, 118 (Rene R. Douglas)
2 Secret Romeo, 119 (T. D. Houghton)
3 Halo Cat, 115 (Robby Albarado)
4 Bonapaw, 124 (Gerard Melancon)
5 Tic N Tin, 119 (Shane Laviolette)