came out running
and never stopped as he posted a gate-to-wire victory in Saturday’s
Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap, one of two graded stakes on the
second-to-last card of Belmont
Park’s 37-day fall meet.
One race earlier, the
5-year-old mare Afleeting Lady became a graded stakes winner as she
collared front-running All Due Respect in midstretch and pulled clear to
a 3 ½-length triumph in the Grade 3, $150,000
Turnback the Alarm Handicap.
Buffum, a 4-year-old
Bernardini colt who carries the colors of Godolphin Racing, shot to the
lead from post position 1 and ticked off fractions of 22.55 and 45.24
seconds while being tracked intently by Associate
and Little Drama. Facing a serious challenge from those two rivals
straightening for home, Buffum found an extra gear inside the eighth
pole and went on to a 1 ¼-length victory over Little Drama, with
Associate finishing third, another half-length back.
Buffum’s time for the seven furlongs was 1:21.68.
“He broke good and put
himself right there, it was the only choice,” said winning jockey Eddie
Castro. “He ran good. It was a nice race.”
The victory was the
second in three 2012 starts and first in a stakes for Buffum, who was
coming off a 3 ½-month layoff following a sixth-place finish in the
Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at
“After the Suburban, we
naturally were a little disappointed and we backed off him for a little
while,” said winning trainer Tom Albertrani of Buffum, who returned
$10.60 for a $2 win wager. “We took him to
and there was a minor foot issue with a quarter-crack we had up there,
but there was no opportunity to run him. So we just waited for this.”
The trainer said
Buffum, who is 4-1-0 from nine career starts with earnings of $241,800,
most likely would make his next start in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap
on November 24 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Completing the order of
finish behind Associate were Private Tale, Goldigger’s Boy, Gallant
Fields, favored Caixa Eletronica, Zero Rate Policy and Spring to the
Sky. Isn’t He Perfect was scratched.
In the Turnback the
Alarm, in which she was making her first start for new owners Richard
Santulli and Alpha Delta Stables, Afleeting Lady ran second as All Due
Respect carried the field of eight fillies and
mares through an opening quarter-mile in 23.39 seconds, with the half
going in a brisk 46.17.
Moving up willingly on
the turn when asked by jockey Joel Rosario, the older half-sister to
multiple Grade 1 winner Shackleford drew alongside the pacesetter at the
top of the stretch and edged away to hit the
wire in 1:42.17 for 1 1/16 miles.
It was the second
straight victory and third in six 2012 outings for Afleeting Lady, who
is trained by Dale Romans. Now 6-4-2 from 18 career starts with earnings
of $374,822, she returned $8 for a $2 win bet.
All Due Respect was 2 ¼
lengths ahead of Nefertini, who nosed out Go Unbridled for third.
Completing the order of finish were favored R Gypsy Gold, Arena Elvira,
Maristar, and Catch a Thief.