15 Spinning Wheel Road, Suite 432 • Hinsdale, IL 60521
Iam Bonasera on the Comeback Trail (08/31/13)
Posted Saturday August 31, 2013
By Mike Paradise
Following seven months of the sidelines Iam Bonasera is on the comeback trail to defend his Super Night Championship now that he has been “straighten-out.”
The 6-year-old gelding with over $625,000 in career earnings and numerous stake titles on list of accomplishments made his first start for trainer Donna Lee Ozment in a conditioned race last Saturday, finishing a fast-closing third with Kyle Wilfong in the sulky.
Iam Bonasera prior start of the year came all the way back in January when he campaigned for the Roger Welch Stable and was chosen the 2012 Illinois Harness Horse of the Year by District 5 Directors of the United States Trotting Association.
After Iam Bonasera was laid off at the end of January following three unplaced efforts in Invitational company his owners soon after sent him to Ozment. The veteran trainer took her time bringing back the classy ICF pacer back to the races.
“The plan all along was to get him ready for Super Night,” said Ozment. “I was very pleased with his race last Saturday when he finished really strong. Super Night is two weeks away so he’s right on schedule.”
Did Iam Bonasera have any major health issues when he arrived at her farm in Steger, IL?
“Not really,” Ozment replied. “There was nothing seriously wrong with the horse. He was just out of whack. I had a chiropractor look at his back. It was out of alignment so he got his back and a shoulder adjusted.”
Iam Bonasera has had a history of struggling through the bends but can pace up a storm in the straightaways.
“The horse has always had trouble getting around turns, however, I think a lot of lot now that he’s an aged horse is just a bad habit,” said Ozment. “There are days while training him he’s been absolutely flawless through the turns.”
Last year after making only $14,700 in his first six months of racing on the east coast, Iam Bonasera joined Welch’s barn in July and went on to rake over $176,000 more with the Beecher conditioner.
Iam Bonasera dominated the ICF older pace division and for several months was also whipping the best open company pacers on the grounds as well. He took the $127,000 Maurello Final on Super Night, the $52,000 Big Tom last August, and along the way captured five Invitational events.
Iam Bonasera’s best season came in 2010 as a three-year-old when he banked over $267,000 racing out of the Erv Miller Stable. That year he took the Dudley Hanover at Du Quoin, Balmoral’s Super Night Langley Final and the Circle City stake in Indiana.
Iam Bonsera’s revival continues in Saturday’s eighth race where he’ll open up as the 5-2 programmed choice in a mid-level conditioned pace with the 22-year-old Wilfong back driving.
Minnesota Bound: John De Long is off his drives at Balmoral Saturday night to be at Running Acres where the Wisconsin native will compete in 9 of the 11 Minnesota Championships to raced, all with $20,000 purses.
De Long drove Uncle Smoothie to his 1:52 flat victory last night in Maywood’s Egyptian Stake over the favored Fort Silky.
Iam Bonasera is shown winning on Super Night 2012 with driver Todd Warren.
County Fair Report
CHRISTIAN-TRI COUNTY FAIR AT PANA
Friday Evening, August 30 Results
FIRST: Non-Winners $2,000 Lifetime Trot, Purse $1,000:
Horse (Driver) Time (Track Fast)
Frontier Belle (Harold Finn Jr.) 2:11
Trainer: Harold Finn Jr. Owner: Mack McGrillis.
SECOND: Non-Winners $3,000 Lifetime Pace, Purse $750:
Beach Bot Brody (Nick Prather) 2:02.2
Trainer: NHick Prather. Owner: Megan Rogers.
THIRD: Non-Winners $3,000 Lifetime Pace, Purse $750:
Lolita Hall (James Austin) 2:02.1
Trainer: James Austin. Owners: Voris and James Austin.
FOURTH: Non-Winners $3,000 Lifetime Pace, Purse $750:
Ava Destruction (Darla Martin) 2:02.4
Trainer: Joan Brown. Owners: Joan and David Brown.
FIFTH: Non-Winners $3,000 Lifetime Pace, Purse $1,000:
TJ’s April Angel (Antonio Love) 2:01.3
Trainer: Roshun Trigg. Owner: Rushun Trigg.
SIXTH: Winner’s Over $2,000 Trot, Purse $1.000:
Itzaziam (Nick Prather) 2:02.1
Trainer: Nick Prather. Owner: Nick Prather.