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Harness Owner Seeks Breeders’ Cup Title

Published: October 22, 2008 8:03 pm ET

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George Bonomo likes everything about Breeders’ Cup contender C.S. Silk, a two-year-old filly he owns with Bill Pacella and Fred Barbara, except the fact he cannot be as involved with the horse as he is in harness racing.

“I can’t sit on their back and ride them,” said Bonomo, a longtime harness racing owner and accomplished amateur driver, with a laugh. “That’s what I want to do. I told Bill that after this we’re going to hook her to a sulky and see how good she does. I don’t think he went too well for that.”

The 66-year-old Bonomo, from Naperville, Illinois, has owned more than 100 standardbreds over the years and is a past president of the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association. Among his current horses is millionaire Armbro Animate, a pacer he owns with his wife, Rose.

C.S. Silk is his first Breeders’ Cup horse. She will compete in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies event at 1-1/16 miles at Santa Anita. Noted harness racing owner J. Paul Reddam also has a horse in the Breeders’ Cup: Square Eddie in Saturday’s $2 million Juvenile for two-year-old colts and geldings.

“It’s very exciting,” Bonomo said. “Bill Pacella is a good friend. We grew up together. He’s been involved in Thoroughbreds for a long time, probably as long as I’ve been involved in harness horses. He twists my arm, so I’ve gotten involved in three or four of them.

“But I get very impatient with the thoroughbreds,” he added. “If it was up to me, they would be racing every week.”

C.S. Silk, ridden by Robby Albarado and trained by Dale Romans, has won two of three career races, including a six-length victory in the one-mile Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park on September 6. It was C.S. Silk’s first start on a synthetic surface; Santa Anita also has a synthetic track.

“She raced very well at Arlington,” Bonomo said. “She seemed to take very well to the distance, and the Polytrack. She was very comfortable. She was well within herself.”
Romans purchased C.S. Silk, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the mare Remember The Day, for $120,000.

“Dale has done a great job managing her,” Bonomo said. “I have to give Dale a lot of credit; he’s the one that picked out this filly at the sale. He was very high on her. It’s really exciting to see where she’s at. She’s a big strapping good-looking filly. Hopefully, we’ll get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but just being there is exciting.”


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