A Louisiana horse who made big news
Bred by Dr. William O. Reed in Kentucky, Bonapaw raced for twins Dennis and James Richards of New Orleans. Learning his trade on the Louisiana circuit, the bay colt did well. Then, something clicked. Not yet 3 (he was an April foal), he began showing serious speed.
His first stakes victory, for trainer Donald Hecker, came in the 6 furlong Inaugural H at Evangeline Downs. Maturing under trainer Howard Alonzo, Bonapaw won the Island Whirl H at Louisiana Downs. Trained by Norman C. Miller III, he won the 2000 Thanksgiving H, 6 f in a stakes record 1:09 flat. At 5, after a Pelleteri Breeders’ Cup win, Bonapaw hit the road for the big time. He captured the Count Fleet Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs and the Iowa Sprint, then swooped home to break his own record in the 2001 Thanksgiving H at 1:083.
He was even faster at 6. Under regular jockey Gerard Melancon, the Louisiana star won the Colonel Power S, and set another stakes record in a sprint named for a much-loved Old Friends former resident, The Taylor’s Special. In the Hanshin (G3), Bonapaw beat future Old Friends resident Discreet Hero, then won the Vosburgh (G1) over Aldebaran. By now, the Cajun star and his connections were international news. Heading for the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, trainer Norman Miller gave Bonapaw hia daily hour-long massage. Bonapaw was pinched back at the start of the BC Sprint and never found his best run. He waged a rigorous seven year old campaign, then raced lightly until he retirement due to breathing issues. “We had a good run,” owner Dennis Richard said—and that’s an understatement. In February 2009, son and nephew of the Richards twins, James Richards, Jr., generously donated Bonapaw to Old Friends. An Old Friends wine edition by Crisman Mill commemorated his arrival. Its label sports a portrait of Bonapaw by singer Eddie Money.
Share sheet info - click here. Donate to sponsor Bonapaw and receive a certificate and 8x10 photo
Modified On: 1/11/2013
Bred in KY by Dr. William O. Reed. Foaled April 13, 1996
48 Starts, 18 Wins, 7 Places, 4 Shows. Career Earnings: $1,118,752
Racing Owners: Dennis Richards & James Richards
Trainers: Norman C. Miller, others
Regular Jockey: Gerard Melancon
Biggest wins: Vosburgh (G1) 2002, Count Fleet Sprint (G3) 2001, Hanshin H (G3) 2002
Other important races: Competed in Breeders' Cup Sprint 2002
Speed Records: stakes Thanksgiving Day H 2000 6f 1:09, Thanksgiving Day H 2001 1:08 3/5
Also of interest: 2nd to Bluesthestandard in the 2003 Texas Mile
Joined Old Friends March 2009