(from Gulfstream Park)
The morning after the race, trainer Bruce Levine said Kingfield Stable’s Buddy's Saint, who had an extremely rough trip as the 9-5 favorite in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 20, was not injured in the race.
Making his 3-year-old debut with regular rider Jose Lezcano aboard in the Fountain of Youth, the dual grade II winner ran into traffic problems on the first turn, bumping a couple of times with a rival and losing ground. He finished ninth in the 10-horse field. Eskendereya won the 1 1/8-mile test by 8 1/2 lengths.
“He (Lezcano) said we got shut off going into the first turn, so we really had a rough trip and had trouble making up ground,” said Levine Feb. 21. “It’s a tough track to make up ground on so we’ll just throw the race out and start again.
“He came out of it good,” Levine added. “We’ll give him a few days and then take him back to the track and see how he is from there. I won’t make up my mind for a week or two to see how he’s doing before deciding where he goes next.”
A $100,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, Buddy’s Saint, by Saint Liam, was making his first start since an impressive 4 3/4-length victory in the nine-furlong Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct on Nov. 28 in his third career start. He captured the Nashua Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct by 12 lengths three weeks before the Remsen.