Boniface is the son of Bill Boniface Sr., who retired last year after 40 years as racing editor of the Baltimore Sun, and together they are half owners of Deputed Testamony. Young Boniface is a trainer who insists that horses should not race on such medication as Lasix or Butazolidin. Therefore, he was furious when, on Friday afternoon, he heard on his car radio that Desert Wine and Marfa would be allowed to run in the race on Lasix. But Boniface had the last word. "The California boys may have won in court," he said after the race, "but we won today."
The half of Deputed Testamony that doesn't belong to the Bonifaces is the property of Boston's Francis P. Sears, a senior vice-president of the Paine Webber brokerage house. In 1970 Sears bought the dam of Deputed Testamony, Proof Requested, for $5,700. In 1979 he bred her to the Boniface's stallion. Traffic Cop, who stands for a mere $1,000 a service. That $6,700 investment turned into potential millions last Saturday when Deputed Testamony became the first Maryland bred to win the Preakness since 1972. The colt is certain to be worth plenty because, although he once ran for a $22,500 claiming tag, he has now won seven of 12 starts and has been out of the money just twice.
Deputed Testamony is the only horse Sears currently has in training. First place in the Preakness was worth $251,200, which will undoubtedly encourage Sears to invest in additional horses for Boniface to train.
In three weeks Deputed Testamony may again take that van from Bonita Farm, this time for a four-hour trip to New York's Belmont Park, site of the Belmont Stakes. Sunny's Halo will probably head for the $175,000 Queen's Plate, Canada's most important race, at Woodbine. Desert Wine and Marfa will return to California. The Belmont, by the way, permits neither Lasix nor Butazolidin. New York is an "oats, hay and water" state. For Deputed Testamony, that's just what the doctor ordered.