Bonapaw Wires Hanshin Foes at Arlington; Douglas Takes First Five on Card

Bonapaw, the 6-year-old gelding who traveled to Dubai earlier this year and finished sixth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) sprint, stretched out to a mile and won the Hanshin Cup (gr. III) by 2 1/4 lengths at Arlington Park.

Owned by Jimmy and Dennis Richard and trained by Norman Miller III, the son of Sabona out of Pawlova, by Nijinsky II, went right to the lead under Gerard Melancon, opened up a four-length advantage early through fractions of :23.02, :45.31, 1:09.00, and 1:21.17, then completed the mile on a fast track in 1:34.00

Slider, ridden by red-hot Rene Douglas, challenged at the top of the stretch but was no match for the winner. He finished second, one length ahead of Discreet Hero. Hero's Tribute, Mercenary, favored B inthebest and X Country completed the order of finish.

"He was happy all the way around," said Melancon, who was in from Louisiana to ride Bonapaw. "I knew if I could keep him happy and relaxed, they weren't going to beat him. I thought I was in the best spot the whole way."

"I thought he would win when he turned for home," said Rene Douglas, of SLider. "I went inside perfect. It looked like he was going to win. He hesitated a little bit at the end."

The win was the 15th in 32 career starts for Bonapaw, who raced in Dubai in March, then was rested until the July 4 Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows, where he finished fourth.

Though Douglas was denied in the stakes race, the meet's leading rider extended his lead atop the standings by winning the first five races on the card.

(Chart, Equibase)