LARC NEWS Posted: 6/13/2024 11:23:40 PM


Multiple Grade 1 winner London Toby and 2022 All American Futurity winner Hes Judgeandjury are among the seven that will race in the $25,000 Be A Bono Stakes on Sunday night.                                                

The Be A Bono gave preference to horses that were eligible to race in the trials to the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity. Among those that took advantage of the opportunity to run in the Be A Bono are London Toby, Hes Judgeandjury, Dont Sass KVN, Terrific Phoenix, Edberg Verde and Normandy. The majority of those horses figure to be back for the Vessels Maturity final on Sunday, July 6.                                   

London Toby enters this race after winning the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship in mid-February. His most recent official moves were a pair of workouts, including an excellent gate drill at 350 yards in :17.8 on April 17.                                  

“He’s doing great,” trainer Scott Willoughby (photo) said. Hes doing really good this year and hopefully everything stays right with him. Hes had some stomach problems in the past and thats cost us some races. Right now, he’s doing fantastic and he comes into the trials really well.”

Brazilian superstar Edberg Verde, who won his U.S. debut will also be in action in this race, as will G2 Southern California Derby finalist Dont Sass KVN. The field from the rail out is as follows Fortunate Corona, Lodon Toby, Hes Judgeandjury, Dont Sass KVN, Terrific Phoenix, Edberg Verde and Normandy, who has been gelded since his last start.


The Be A Bono Stakes is named after the 2004 AQHA World Champion, who won six Grade 1 races plus three restricted Grade 1 stakes events during his 26-race career. Ridden mostly by Hall of Fame jockey G.R. Carter, the son of Bono Jazz earned $1,313,348 in his career while picking up 14 victories – all at Los Alamitos. He famously won the race named after his owner- the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap - three straight years. He won the 2006 Go Man Go Handicap while also winning consecutive runnings of the Vessels Maturity. Be A Bono finished second in both the 2004 and 2006 Champion of Champions.

None of Be A Bono's efforts in 2006 could have been possible without the help of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Troy Ford. Back in November of 2005, Ford performed a groundbreaking surgery on Be A Bono in which he injected stem cells from a small sample of Be A Bono's own fat in order to regenerate damaged bone and cartilage on the right knee of the champion sprinter. "This procedure has been used to repair bowed tendons, but this was the first case in which I've used it for a joint," said Ford, who visited Los Alamitos in 2006 to watch his former patient's first stakes race since the surgery.

Dr. Ford injected Be A Bono’s stem cells so that they would regenerate a more normal bone and cartilage. He took the cells from the right side of his tail. Dr. Ford described the amount as “about a tablespoon of fat.” From there, Dr. Ford shipped the cells to Vet-Stem (laboratory), where the cells were harvested and then sent back the following day. The harvested cells were injected into the joint.

Be A Bono’s accomplishments included what was at the time the two fastest final 220-yard times recorded at Los Alamitos. He posted a :09.29 fraction in the Vessels Maturity and then a :09.24 in the Go Man Go Handicap.

       "I've been racing horses for 60 years," said Spencer Childers after one of Be A Bono’s stakes wins. "To come up with one like Be A Bono is the experience of a lifetime.”


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