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Be A Bono wins Go Man Go Handicap

September 17, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress CA (Sept. 17) - Be A Bono's genetically revamped knee received all the credit for the gelding's impressive wins in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity and Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. But now it is Be A Bono's heart that should be praised after the 2004 World Champion rallied to defeat multiple stakes winner LDS Dash For Dylan in the 400-yard Grade 1 $110,200 Go Man Go Handicap on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Los Alamitos.

Breaking from post two with jockey G.R. Carter aboard, the 1-2 favorite Be A Bono was eighth at the start and seventh after the first 180 yards. That's when things began to change for Be A Bono in this race. When Carter went to work right-handed, the son of Bono Jazz responded in vintage Be A Bono fashion, flying from there on the way to head victory over his rival.

Trained by Dan Francisco for Hall of Fame owner and breeder Spencer Childers, Be A Bono covered the distance in :19.57 while earning $55,100 for the win. The 5-year-old homebred has now earned $1,196,611 as well 13 wins from 19 career starts. Be A Bono has now won six Grade 1 races plus three restricted Grade 1 races. He is currently tied for 12th place in the list of all-time leading Quarter Horses by stakes wins at Los Alamitos.

"LDS Dash For Dylan had us beat by half a side," Carter said. "He was ahead of us the whole way until the end. We had a good clean start but we first had to get by the horse on the inside (TNT Racing's Covert) before I could worry about LDS Dash For Dylan. Be A Bono gutted out this win. He is just a super horse."

The Go Man Go offers its winner a berth to the $600,000 Champion of Champions but since Be A Bono had already qualified to this prestigious race, this berth will revert to the Z. Wayne Griffin Director's Trials on November 18.

"It was to our benefit that the horse inside of Be A Bono broke ahead of him," Francisco said. "It gave him something to hook up on both sides."

The win was the first ever in the Go Man Go for Be A Bono, Childers, Carter and Francisco. "I'm glad that this race is over with," Francisco added. "This one is off our back. Even G.R. was saying that it was good to win this because he had finished second in it a couple of times before."

The legendary Childers was thrilled to see his charge win again.

"That was a tough race and it was a typical Be A Bono to win this thing by a head," he said. "He ran by the #1 horse (eventual third place finisher Covert) and then by the #10 horse (LDS Dash For Dylan). Be A Bono dug in and did everything he could to win. We're proud of him."

So what's next for Be A Bono? Can we expect to see him again in the October 14 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Invitational Championship?

"I don't know," Childers said. "We'll talk to the horse about that. He'll tell us if he wants to run in that race or not. The big deal is the Champion of Champions but if he's feeling good then yes we'll run in the Invitational."

Donna King's LDS Dash For Dylan, who ran third to Apollitical Time in the MBNA America California Challenge in his previous start, earned $19,285 for his second place finish here. The son of Dashing Cleat has now earned $310,116 in his career.

"He got outrun by a great horse," said trainer Bret Vickery. "(Jockey Sam Thompson) did a super job and I don't know what else we could have done. The horse gave it his everything. Maybe a couple of more jumps would have matter but maybe not. Be A Bono is a tough horse to get past."

The surprise package in the Go Man Go was Covert, who followed LDS Dash For Dylan across the wire at odds of 13-1. This was only his third start ever at Los Alamitos. Trained by Paul Jones and ridden by Freddie Martinez, the Dash Thru Traffic horse had finished fourth in his two previous outings in Orange County. A runner-up in three stakes races at Zia Park last year, Covert earned $11,020 for his third place finish.

Vickery also saddled fourth place finisher Gold Medal Jess, the winner of the Los Alamitos Winter Championship on February 25. The son of Mr Jess Perry earned $7,714 for his effort.

"He broke slow but he came on strong at the end. If he had drawn the outside post he would have been deadly in this race," Vickery said.

Skyline Chick ran fifth while three-time champion aged gelding Catchmeinyourdreams finished sixth. Catchmeinyourdreams did inch closer to the $1 million mark in earnings after earning $3,857. He's now made $992,574 in his 46-race career. Aladim Bryan SA, Texas Trio, Like Frankie And Me and Commander Corona completed the field.

Trainer Dan Francisco will have to find a new spot at the track to watch Be A Bono's races.

"From where I watched the race upstairs, I thought LDS Dash For Dylan had won the race," Francisco said. "I guess it's a bad angle because I was in that same spot for the 2004 Champion of Champions and I thought I won that race. I have to find me a new spot."

Unfortunately for Francisco, Be A Bono finished second by a nose in the '04 Champion of Champions.

One thing that Francisco has changed is Be A Bono's training regimen this year.

"I've changed his schedule to keep him happy. Last year he soured on us so this year he's done less training that one would think. He likes (the 400 yard distance) anyways so I don't have to work him too hard. Now that the 440-yard races are coming up I'll probably have to train him a little harder."

Francisco also admitted that there's not much to the day-to-day care of Be A Bono's famous right knee.

"We ice it everyday," he said. "We treat him with the usual leg medicines but that's about it."