BUSTING OPEN THE SANFORD Buster's Daydream still hasn't woken up. Then again, maybe he's not dreaming at all. To all those who refuse to believe he's for real, the son of Housebuster is rapidly becoming a nightmare at the betting windows. Despite clear-cut victories in the Flash (gr. III) and Tremont (gr. III) Stakes at Belmont, Buster's Daydream still was sent off as the 4-1 third choice in the July 26 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) behind 6-5 favorite Proud Citizen, who was coming off a maiden victory. Yes, Proud Citizen was impressive breaking his maiden in a romp, but at the wire in the Sanford, it was Buster's Daydream the winner by 5 1/4 lengths in a snappy 1:10.55 over a muddy track. Proud Citizen finished a well-beaten fifth in the six-horse field. Buster's Daydream is owned by S. J. Bee Stable, which purchased the colt out of the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale for $38,000, and trained at Laurel by Timothy Tullock. At the start, John Velazquez sent Buster's Daydream to the front, then put away the early challengers and opened up a six-length lead at the eighth pole. He maintained a comfortable margin to the wire, defeating 14-1 Seeking the Money and second choice Heavyweight Champ. "One of the owners, Steve Barbarino Jr., had been reading the papers and didn't think we were getting enough respect," Tullock said. "And I thought the same thing, but I wasn't going to worry about it. To me, it was surprising he was 4-1. For horses that break their maiden, it's a tough call to go into stakes races, especially here at Saratoga. We will either look at the Hopeful (gr. I) or the Futurity (gr. I) next. The Breeders' Cup is our ultimate goal."
NO SOFT TOUCH Like Buster's Daydream, Touch Love just keeps rolling along winning stakes. And like Buster's Daydream, she was sent off as the third choice in the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II) July 25 and won by 4 3/4 lengths under Jorge Chavez. Owned by Skeedattle Stable and trained by Tony Dutrow, the daughter of Not For Love had won her only two starts, including a victory in the Astoria Stakes at Belmont. Another bargain purchase, she sold for a meager $17,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall sale. In the Schuylerville, she charged through an opening on the rail and drew off in the final furlong to defeat Lakeside Cup and Lost Expectations, covering the six furlongs in 1:11.12.