By Karen M. Johnson
Undefeated Bustin Stones worked sharply at Belmont Park March 22 as he prepares for his grade I debut in the $300,000 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 5.
Bustin Stones, trained by Bruce Levine, covered five furlongs in 1:00.26 over the training track, which was listed as fast. The work was the swiftest of seven at the distance and was a full second faster than the next best work of 1:01.46 by Rodman.
Levine said he was more than satisfied with the work.
"No, it wasn’t too fast; he just takes it like that," Levine said March 22.
Bustin Stones, who is perfect in five starts, will race with Lasix for the first time in the seven-furlong Carter. Levine said he began giving Bustin Stones Lasix for his last two works.
"We scoped him after a work and he had a speck of blood and mucous," Levine said. "I’m going to go ahead and run him with Lasix. I can’t tell you that he needs it, but I don’t want to take a chance and I would rather be safe than sorry and cover my bases."
In his last start, Bustin Stones, a 4-year-old New York-bred son of City Zip, won the Feb. 18 General George Handicap (gr.II) at Laurel Park for owner-breeder Roddy Valente. The seven-furlong General George was the colt’s first start in open company. He won a state-bred maiden race by open lengths at Aqueduct in March 2007, and followed with a pair of restricted stakes wins, also won in easy fashion, before having surgery to remove chips in both knees. He returned to the races after a nine-month layoff and won the Jan. 21 Promonroe Stakes at Aqueduct, his prep for the General George.
Nominations for the Carter, which will be run on Aqueduct’s main track, close March 22. The Carter is an undercard stakes on the Wood Memorial (gr.I) card.
Trainer Bob Baffert said that Midnight Lute, last year’s champion sprinter, is under consideration for the Carter.