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Wednesday, September 25
On second thought, Bonapaw's going

ELMONT, N.Y. -- Upon learning that it would cost only $90,000 and not $200,000 to supplement Bonapaw to next month's Breeders' Cup Sprint, part-owner Dennis Richard said Monday that Vosburgh winner Bonapaw would run in the $1 million race.

"We're kicking it around with our bookkeeper, but it looks like all systems are go," Dennis Richard, who owns Bonapaw along with his twin brother, James, said Monday from New Orleans.

The Richards thought the supplemental fee to run in the Sprint would be 20 percent of the $1 million purse. But the supplemental fee is only 9 percent because Bonapaw's sire, Sabona, is nominated to the Breeders' Cup. Bonapaw, a 6-year-old gelding, was not nominated as a foal.

Bonapaw earned his way into the Sprint with a decisive 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont. It was his first Grade 1 win, and his third straight stakes victory. The previous two stakes wins came at Arlington Park, site of this year's World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 26.

"That's why we want to go back," Richard said. "He seems like he's at home at Arlington. That's one plus in our favor. That's where the plusses end. When you see who's in there the plusses come to an end."

Richard was referring to the deep field expected for the Sprint, including speedy types Orientate, Xtra Heat, and defending Sprint champion Squirtle Squirt.

Trainer Norman Miller said he would almost prefer to run in the Mile, because it would be an easier race for Bonapaw to carry his speed in. But Bonapaw, who has raced only once on turf, may not get into the Mile. Miller did say that Bonapaw could return to New York for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 30.

Bonapaw remained at Belmont Park Monday morning and won't van back to Chicago until Wednesday at the earliest.

"Bonapaw came back good, thank God," Richard said. "He's a little stiff, but that's to be expected. There's no ankles, no hocks, none of that stuff. He's eating up everything; he looks good as new."

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Bonapaw cruises home in Belmont's Vosburgh