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Buddy's Saint cruises in the Remsen.
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Buddy's Saint Turns Remsen Into a Romp

Son of Saint Liam wins nine-furlong event; a top contender for next year's classics.

Buddy's Saint, a 12-length winner of the one-mile Nashua Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 7, returned to Aqueduct Nov. 28 and turned the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) into a romp, winning by 4 3/4 lengths over 20-1 longshot Peppi Knows. Homeboykris, the 8-5 second-choice, faded after pressing the pace and finished fifth (VIDEO).

It appears Kingfield Stables and trainer Bruce Levine have a leading contender for the 2010 classics on their hands.

“Believe me, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone in America,” Levine said after the race.

Buddy’s Saint, from the first and only crop of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, settled well early under jockey Jose Lezcano while just off the pace down the backstretch. Citrus Kid and Homeboykris carved out the early splits of :24.01 for the opening quarter and :48.18 for the half-mile. Lezcano asked Buddy’s Saint to move on the turn, then after angling to the rail in upper stretch, the tandem drew away from their five rivals.

Buddy’s Saint finished the 1 1/8-miles in 1:52.95 while under wraps. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Citrus Kid, who was followed by Fudge Truffle, Homeboykris, and Grand Rapport.

“The two horses in front of me went on and I just settled behind them,” Lezcano said. “When I asked him at the three-eighths I thought (Homeboykris) had a little more momentum, but my horse passed right by like it was nothing. He gave me a really good run.”

Edgar Prado was aboard Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Homeboykris.

“He wasn’t really rank, but it looked that way because the horse in front of me (Citrus Kid) was slowing down, and I didn’t want to go head-to-head with that horse so I just sat right next to him,” Prado said. “Once we got to the backside he settled beautifully, he was just galloping along. The only thing that surprised me was that he spit the bit early. Before I got to the half-mile pole the other horses blew by me. That’s not him. He’s a fighter. He was definitely a better horse when I rode him at Belmont.”

Buddy’s Saint, the 7-10 choice, paid $3.50, $2.60, and $2.20. Peppi Knows returned $7.90 and $4.90 and Citrus Kid paid $3.80 to show. The 4-2 exacta paid $42.60.

“I thought he was quite impressive,” Levine said. “I’d thought he’d be closer to the lead, but he doesn’t need it. He’s very versatile. He’s still learning.

“I don’t think you’ve seen the best of him yet. He’s a big horse, and I still think he has to grow into his frame. The two-turn race should set him up for the spring.”

The $120,000 first-place prize money should move the late Saint Liam into the top 10 of first-crop sires by progeny earnings. The Remsen winner is out of the Blushing John mare Tuzia. Tuzia, bred by the late Allen Paulsen, won the Nastique Stakes and ran second behind Tomisue’s Delight in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) in 1998. Buddy’s Saint is her sixth foal.

Bred in Kentucky by Roy Gottlieb and Morton Fink, Buddy’s Saint was consigned to last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale by Gainesway Farm, agent. Selling in Book 3, he sold to Eli Lomita for $100,000.