Buffum, a 4-year-old Bernardini colt, shot to the lead from the inside post and ticked off fractions of :22.55 and :45.24 while being tracked intently by Associate and Little Drama on the far outside. Facing a serious challenge from those two rivals straightening for home, Buffum found an extra gear inside the eighth pole. He held well for a 1 1/4-length victory over Little Drama, with Associate finishing third, another half-length back.
It was the first stakes victory for Buffum, whose time for the seven furlongs was 1:21.68 over a fast track.
"He broke good and put himself right there, it was the only choice," said winning jockey Eddie Castro.
The victory was the second in three 2012 starts for Buffum, who was coming off a 3 1/2-month layoff following a sixth-place finish in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont. He began the year with an eight-length score at Belmont in May in which he recorded a career-best 105 Beyer speed figure at a mile.
"After the Suburban, we naturally were a little disappointed and we backed off him for a little while," said winning trainer Tom Albertrani about Buffum, who paid $10.60, $5.50, and $4. "We took him to Saratoga, and there was a minor foot issue with a quarter-crack we had up there, but there was no opportunity to run him. So we just waited for this."
Caixa Eletronica, the 3-2 favorite in the field of nine, rallied wide but weakened in the stretch to finish seventh.
Buffum, who is 4-1-0 from nine starts with earnings of $241,800, might contest the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 24 at Aqueduct Racetrack, Albertrani said.
Bred by Pennsylvania by Brushwood Stable, Buffum traces in male line to 1957 co-Horse of the Year Bold Ruler and is out of the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Storm Beauty, also the dam of multiple stakes winner Stormy West.
Little Drama paid $4.90 and $3.80, and Associate paid $3.20.