05/07/2002 11:00PM

Buddha on the mend, pointing for Dwyer


ELMONT, N.Y. - Buddha, the Wood Memorial winner who turned up lame and was scratched from the Kentucky Derby the day before the race, could resume training by the weekend and will be pointed to the Dwyer Stakes on July 7, trainer James Bond said.

Bond said the injury was just "a bad, bad bruise" of Buddha's left front foot. On Monday, Buddha underwent a nuclear bone scan at the Rood and Riddle equine clinic, which revealed nothing. Buddha was vanned from Lexington to Bond's Saratoga barn on Wednesday.

Bond said he would soak Buddha's foot for a couple of days and that the horse could be back in training by the weekend.

Buddha's major goal for the summer is the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 24. Bond said he would point Buddha to the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont and then the Jim Dandy on Aug. 4 at Saratoga.

"It wasn't meant to be," Bond said of the Derby. "At the end of August, hopefully, we'll be the ones smiling."

Turner, Cordero remember Seattle Slew

Angel Cordero rode 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew only four times, but it was enough to leave a lasting impression on the Hall of Fame jockey.

"Best horse I ever rode, by far," Cordero said Wednesday morning, one day after Seattle Slew died at the age of 28. "He was an amazing horse. His speed, he could carry for a long time, and he was very strong."

Cordero rode Seattle Slew for the first time in the 1978 Marlboro Cup against Affirmed in the first meeting of Triple Crown winners. After running an easy half-mile run in 47 seconds, Seattle Slew came home like a locomotive, covering nine furlongs in 1:45.80.

"They would have needed an airplane to beat him that day," Cordero said. "It's very rare when you see a horse walk the first part and then finish in a time like that."

Cordero also rode Seattle Slew in the Woodward, which he won by four lengths over Exceller. Cordero guided Seattle Slew to a second-place finish, beaten a nose by Exceller, in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and a victory in the Stuyvesant Handicap in the last two starts of his career.

Cordero rode Seattle Slew when the horse was trained by Doug Peterson. Peterson took over for Billy Turner, who was fired after Slew lost the Swaps in 1977. Turner guided Seattle Slew through the Triple Crown undefeated, the only one of 11 Triple Crown winners to accomplish that feat.

Turner said Seattle Slew was not a fan favorite during the Triple Crown, because he was deemed a threat to Secretariat, who had won the Triple Crown only four years earlier.

"Secretariat was the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and before him there were a lot of people who thought there would never be another Triple Crown winner [after Citation in 1948]," Turner said. "So when he won it, he became a legend. We made a few enemies with Seattle Slew because we were threatening the king, and his realm was being threatened only four years later. It was kind of like people not wanting to see Babe Ruth's home run record broken by Roger Maris."

Can Lethal Temper add to Slew legacy?

Seattle Slew sired 102 stakes winners. Trainer Elliott Walden hopes Lethal Temper will become 103 when she runs in Saturday's $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies.

The Nassau County will be the stakes debut of Lethal Temper, who cost $875,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November yearling sales. Lethal Temper won her first two starts, including an allowance race at Keeneland on April 21, as a front-runner. Walden hopes the Nassau County is a stepping-stone to the Grade 1 Acorn on June 7.

"She's shown quite a bit of talent in her two starts," Walden said. "The Acorn is one of the most coveted races for 3-year-old fillies other than the Kentucky Oaks. I think this is a big step, but I'm hopeful she can make it."

With Pat Day committed to ride at Churchill Saturday, Lethal Temper will be ridden by Edgar Prado on Saturday.

Pebo's Guy dies on track

Pebo's Guy, a multiple stakes winning New York-bred, suffered a heart attack and died while training Wednesday morning on Belmont's main track. An 8-year-old gelded son of Cormorant, Pebo's Guy had worked a half-mile in 50 seconds while training toward a start in the Kingston Handicap on May 26.

"He only came up seven days ago from Another Episode Farm," said trainer Leo O'Brien, who was training the horse for the first time since 1999. "He was doing smashing, sounder than he's ever been."

Owned and bred by Peter Destefano, Pebo's Guy had a record of 9-7-4 from 45 starts and earned $408,545. He won the 1998 Mohawk Handicap, the 1999 Kingston, and the 2001 Kingston. Gary Sciacca trained the horse in 2000 and 2001.

Thunderello hurt again

Thunderello, a good-looking 2-year-old of 2001 who was set to make his 3-year-old debut at Belmont on Thursday, was scratched from an allowance race because of an injured suspensory ligament.

The injury is to the same suspensory that Thunderello tore slightly last fall. Thunderello appeared to have been over that injury, but trainer Scott Lake noticed something amiss Wednesday morning.

"We galloped him on Tuesday, not real strong, but a nice gallop, and we were getting ready to send him out to jog today, and he came out of his stall a little short," Lake said. "The suspensory was a little thick."