Trainer H. James Bond is hopeful that Gary and Mary West's Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Buddha will start in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park on July 7. Buddha missed his scheduled start in the Kentucky Derby due to a bruised right-front foot.
"Buddha is coming along," said Bond. "We've worked him here and we're going to try to get him ready for the Dwyer."
The gray son of Unbridled's Son worked five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on the day after the Belmont Stakes, a race in which the second- and third-place finishers from the Wood Memorial again filled those finishing spots.
"I loved the Belmont and how exciting it was for racing," Bond said. "But I think that race proved how good a race the Wood Memorial was and that Buddha is certainly a horse that is among the tops in the division."
Buddha has won three of four career starts and is undefeated since switching from Bill Mott to Bond's barn.
Bond has sent out the winner of the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer before. In 1997, Behrens scored a victory in that race before a disappointing run in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) and a nose-length loss to Deputy Commander in the Travers (gr. I).