Buddy's Saint, who was a leading 2-year-old last year before being knocked off this year's Triple Crown trail with an injury, recorded his first series of breezes since returning to training in Florida.
A son of Saint Liam trained by Bruce Levine for Kingfield Stables, Buddy’s Saint was a promising Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prospect after romping by 12 lengths in the Nashua Stakes (gr. II) when breaking his maiden Nov. 7 at Aqueduct and returned three weeks later to score by nearly five in the Remsen (gr. II). The 9-5 favorite for the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (gr. II) on Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park in his 3-year-old debut, the bay colt finished a disappointing ninth after a trouble trip.
He was officially knocked off the Derby trail in mid-March after a right ankle chip was discovered following a workout at Gulfstream. Successful surgery was performed a short time later at Ocala Equine Hospital and after three months off Buddy’s Saint was returned to training on July 1.
Since the surgery, Buddy’s Saint was shipped to Gulfstream and then to J. J. Crupi’s New Castle Farm in Ocala, where he has turned in three works—Aug. 28, Sept. 3, and Sept. 8—all at three furlongs. Levine said the horse is doing very well.
“He’s as sound as a bell of brass,” Levine said Sept. 8 after the latest work, in which the colt was clocked in :38-flat. “It seems like it’s been a long time, but he was only out of training about three months. That's the way it goes.
“We’ll probably bring him up to New York at the end of next week. If all goes well, we’ll probably put him in an allowance race in New York in November. If he runs well there, we’ll look for something like the Hal’s Hope (gr. III, at Gulfstream in January).”
Buddy’s Saint, who was bred in Kentucky by Roy Gottlieb and Morton Fink and is out of the Blushing John mare Tuzia, has earned $218,600 from his four starts. He crossed the wire first but was disqualified from his maiden special weight debut at Belmont last September.