Roddy Valente’s homebred Bustin Stones, the 2-1 morning line favorite for this afternoon’s $250,000 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga, is out of the race according to trainer Bruce Levine. A bruise in his right front foot is the culprit.
“He’s always had some heat in one foot and it comes and goes,” Levine said Saturday morning. “But today it’s really on fire and pulsating. We stuck it in a tub this morning, but it’s race day and you really don’t want to do that.”
“We haven’t missed a beat with him up to this point,” Levine said.
Levine said he would monitor his star for the next few days and his blacksmith suggests they may consider a bar shoe.
Bustin Stones, a 4-year-old New York-bred son of City Zip—Shesasurething, by Prospector’s Gamble, is unbeaten in six starts. His last effort was a half-length victory over Executive Fleet in the seven-furlong Carter Handicap (gr. I). Bustin Stones has earned $480,150. Earlier this year, he won the seven-furlong General George (gr. II) at Laurel Park.
In the Vanderbilt, Bustin Stones was the 118-pound co-highweight with 2006 TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Thor’s Echo. His departure leaves a field of six. Post time for the Vanderbilt is approximately 4:43 p.m. EDT.