<b>Saratoga Notebook:</b> Where's Buddha? Bond Knows; Hennig Plots Summer Colony's Trail; Awesome Humor to Try Spinaway
Date Posted: 8/24/2002 10:53:43 PM
Last Updated: 8/24/2002 10:54:45 PM

Trainer James Bond said Saturday he is still waiting to give Wood Memorial (gr.I) winner Buddha his first breeze of the summer.

A pulled muscle high in his back end has kept the colt out of hard training and prevented Bond from preparing him for the Saratoga stakes for 3-year-olds, the Jim Dandy and the Travers.

"We're holding right now," Bond said. "There's no change. The only thing that I've stated is that time is running out for a major race this year."

But Bond said recent reports that the colt owned by Gary and Mary West might not race again this season are inaccurate.

"The horse is still in training," Bond said. "There's no change. You may see him in the entries in six or eight weeks. The clients have not decided to take him out of training."

"The horse has got a pulled muscle that is like 99 percent ready. My problem is, where do you run a horse of this caliber? He's only had four races. That's the question right now."

Bond said he won't run Buddha in the Breeders' Cup Classic without a prep and he is reluctant to start him against older horses because he has so little experience.

"This is probably the most talented horse I've ever trained and I'm just going to throw him to the wolves when he's not 100 percent. He's doing fabulous and he's ready to go back on the worktab, but I've also got to point him to something, too, that's worth it."

So Bond continues to play the patient waiting game.

"Another veterinarian came in and looked at this horse two days ago and I just want to guarantee that this thing is perfect when I put him back to work," he said.

"When we're working this kind of horse we really hone on them. This is not a $25,000 claiming horse. We go and put these horses on the fence and they black-letter work. When you're black-letter working you'd better make sure you have all those tires are on and everything is right. That's the bottom line."

Hennig Says Summer Colony has Plenty Left

Summer Colony came out of her victory in the Personal Ensign (gr.I) Friday with no ill effects and may make one more start before the Breeders" Cup Distaff (gr.I), trainer Mark Hennig said Saturday.

It was the first Grade I win of the Summer Squall filly's career and improved her record this year to 4-2-0 in six starts.

"She seems fine," Hennig said. "She's very relaxed. She cooled out well. It didn't seem to take a whole lot out of her.It was a nice cool afternoon.It wasn't real hot."

Summer Colony handled some early pace pressure from Go for Wand winner Dancethruthedawn and jockey Jerry Bailey, but took a 4-length lead into the stretch anyway, winding up 4 1/2 lengths in front of runner-up Trancendental.

Hennig said the race did not unfold the way he had expected.

"I didn't anticipate that Jerry would be up there with us," he said. "I felt like somebody would probably show some speed besides us, but I thought Jerry would try and let us go and move up to our outside.

"I couldn't have been more pleased with the way it developed. I felt like the horse to beat was Dancethruthedawn. To be sitting right outside of her, I felt pretty confident when it developed that way in the first turn."

Since breaking her maiden by 32 3/4 lengths last summer at Saratoga in her seventh career start, Summer Colony has been on tear: nine wins and two seconds in 11 races.

"She hasn't done much wrong in that time frame," Hennig said. "We've been able to manage her and keep her fresh and she continues to respond."

The maiden-breaker came on July 27th when a turf race was moved to the main track.

"She had never run around two turns on the dirt until she ran that day here when she won by 32," Hennig said. "It was her first time at a mile and an eighth on dirt and we've kind of kept her at those longer distances ever since then.

"I think she ran a mile and a sixteenth once. That was the day she beat Dancethruthedawn by a nose. I think the added distance helped her yesterday with Dancethruthedawn."

Hennig said Summer Colony will likely run in either the Beldame (gr.I) at Belmont Park or the Spinster (gr.I) at Keeneland prior to the Breeders' Cup.

Awesome Humor On Spinaway Course

Adirondack (gr.II) winner Awesome Humor is on course toward the Spinaway (gr.I) on August 30, trainer Elliott Walden said Saturday.

Walden said the Distorted Humor filly worked an easy half-mile in :54 Saturday morning over the Oklahome training track.

The Adirondack-Spinaway double was the plan developed for the 2-year-old filly after she was purchased by WinStar Farm following her victory in the Debutante (gr.III) at Churchill Downs in early July.

"We gave her a break of five weeks to hopefully come back in the Spinaway if she came out of it OK," Walden said. "We've stayed objective on it and I've liked what I've seen."

Within the next few days, Walden said he will decide on the next start for Quest Star, winner of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr.II).

"I might run him in the Saranac (gr.III) or the Pennsylvania Derby (gr.II)," Walden said. "He goes both turf and dirt."

Both races are on September 2.


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