Buddy’s Saint, winner of the Grade 2 Nashua and Grade
2 Remsen at Aqueduct last fall, turned in a bullet half-mile move over the main
track at Belmont
Saturday morning, covering the distance in 47.09, breezing.
Sidelined by an ankle chip in March following a troubled
trip and disappointing ninth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 2
Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on February 20, Buddy’s Saint has been
working steadily since late August, first at Crupi’s New Castle Farm in Ocala,
Fla., and at Belmont since late September.
“All is good,” said Bruce Levine, who trains the son of
Saint Liam for Kingfield Stables. “We’ll run him at Aqueduct, I just have to
figure out where – an allowance race would be my choice.”
While last year’s 12-length Nashua romp and 4 ¾-length Remsen win were
visually impressive, Levine believes the colt has matured considerably over the
“He still wants to play, he’s kind of got the baby in him,
but he’s a lot more mature breezing,” said Levine. “When you turn him around,
he knows it’s time to breeze. He just gears up and goes. He’s really into it.
Last year, you’d breeze him by himself, he’d go 1:01, this year he goes much
faster. He’s a happy horse and a big ham. It’s good to have him back.”
Looking toward New York Showcase Day on Saturday, Levine
said he expects to run City Broad in the seven-furlong Iroquois for
fillies and mares, and could have two starters in the Sleepy Hollow, for
juveniles, with Bug Juice and Bambi Bound.
Bug Juice has now won three straight and exits a 10-length
runaway win in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes on October 2,
while Bambi Bound graduated the maiden ranks at Belmont on October 9 in his second start.
“He’s fast,” Levine said of Bug Juice, who has wired the
fields for a combined margin of 23 ¼ lengths in his last three starts. “I’ll
run Bug Juice or Bambi Bound in the Sleepy Hollow, maybe both, and City Broad
in the Iroquois. That’s the plan.”