Saturday, February 19, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 19, 2005 . . . The bettors had Bonus Pack at 2-1 in the Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, but the real player was owner Robert Bone, who put down $80,000 to claim the seven-year-old gelding back in November. Bonus Pack started paying him back Saturday with his two-length win in the mile-long Dust Commander.
“[Trainer] Tom Proctor had the horse, and we claimed him at Churchill for 80 grand,” said winning trainer Greg Foley. “He’s just an old class horse. He’s made a lot of money. The owner, Bob Bone, claims a lot of high-dollar horses and we got to talking about [Bonus Pack]. [Bone] is a pretty game guy and he said, ‘Let’s take him.’ We knew this Turfway meet was coming up and thought he would fit in the stakes here.”
Bonus Pack has 9 wins in 40 starts with 9 seconds and 4 thirds. His win Saturday pushed his earnings past the half-million-dollar mark.
As expected, Paging was part of the early speed, pushing the leader Sterling Gold. Bonus Pack waited just off the pace, edged up around the final turn, and then passed both coming into the stretch. Paging kept on to finish second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Alpha and Omega, who took third. Sterling Gold tired in the stretch and finished fourth. Completing the order of finish were Doc D, Mr. Krisley, and Ask the Lord, who was eased and then vanned off the track. Punch and Private Horde scratched.
Asked about Private Horde, who will run seven furlongs in the $200,000 General George Handicap at Laurel on Monday, Foley grinned and said, “It didn’t hurt my feelings that he didn’t run, let’s put it that way. I don’t think he’s any true miler, but he might have been against these horses.”
Bonus Pack paid $6.40 for the win and finished the mile in 1:38.93 on a fast track. Dean Sarvis was the winning jockey.
Sarvis’s winning ride on Bonus Pack was one of three on the day for the jockey, who leads the Turfway colony with 45 wins. Leading apprentice Juan Molina Jr. also had three wins on the 12-race Saturday card.
Making the trophy presentation for the stakes race was former jockey Mike Manganello, who rode Dust Commander to victory in the 1970 Kentucky Derby. Manganello won Turfway riding titles in 1964, 1969, and 1970.
Racing resumes at Turfway on Sunday at 1:10 p.m.