11/14/2010 4:48PM

Buddy's Saint breaks down during workout for comeback race

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Barbara D. Livingston
Buddy's Saint, who was scheduled to return to the races next weekend, had to be euthanized after fracturing his shoulder Sunday at Belmont Park.

Buddy’s Saint, one of the leading 2-year-old males of 2009, suffered a fractured shoulder during a morning workout Sunday at Belmont Park and had to be euthanized, trainer Bruce Levine confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Buddy’s Saint, who won the Nashua and Remsen - both Grade 2 stakes - as a 2-year-old, was working his way back to the races after a chip in his right front ankle sidelined him in the spring. Levine said Sunday’s work was to be the last for Buddy’s Saint before he was scheduled to return in the $60,000 Groovy Stakes next Sunday at Aqueduct.

Levine said Buddy’s Saint was working out of the gate in company with another horse when exercise rider Jesus Romero “said he heard a crack,” Levine said. “He said he never heard anything like it. I’m not sure I ever had one break his shoulder.”

Buddy’s Saint was euthanized on the track. Romero was taken to a local hospital where he was later released without any series injuries, according to Levine.

Levine, 55, said Buddy’s Saint was doing “better than ever” and that “by far” this is the worst loss he has suffered in his 31 years as a trainer. Buddy’s Saint was owned by Eli Lomita, who purchased the colt as a yearling for $100,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2008.

PHOTOS: Barbara Livingston remembers Buddy's Saint

Sunday’s work was the 12th for Buddy’s Saint since he returned to the work tab on Aug. 28 at Jimmy Crupi’s farm in Ocala, Fla. Buddy’s Saint had been sidelined since mid-March when he sustained a chip in his right front ankle following a workout at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a start in the Florida Derby.

At 2, Buddy’s Saint won his debut, but was disqualified for interference. He then won the Nashua by 12 lengths and the Remsen by 4 3/4 lengths, establishing himself as one of the leading Kentucky Derby contenders for 2010. Buddy’s Saint made his 3-year-old debut in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park and got bumped early on and finished ninth of 10.