03/15/2010 12:00AM

Buddy's Saint may need surgery


Trainer Bruce Levine on Monday was still coping with the disappointment of leaving the Kentucky Derby trail with Buddy's Saint, who was diagnosed with a chip in his right front ankle following a Sunday workout at Gulfstream Park.

Buddy's Saint, who won the Remsen last year but who finished second-to-last with a horrible trip in the Fountain of Youth, was attempting to make the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 3. Levine didn't like the way the horse looked and ordered an X-ray, which revealed the chip.

Levine sent a set of the X-rays to Dr. John Madison, based in Ocala, Fla., and will confer with him to decide if surgery is necessary for Buddy's Saint. Madison performed surgery on other Levine stakes performers such as Bustin Stones and Coyote Lakes.

"I'll confer with him and the owner and come up with a game plan,'' said Levine, who hopes to get the horse back to the races in the fall.

It has not been a good winter for Levine. In addition to Buddy's Saint's injury, Levine lost the promising 3-year-old filly The Mailet when she suffered fatal injuries during a workout at Gulfstream. As a 2-year-old, The Mailet had gone 2 for 2 on the turf, including a victory in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park.

They say bad things happen in sets of three. Well, Levine's allotment has been met as Buddy's Song, who won the Pan Am here last year when it was taken off the turf, has been dealing with a bruised foot. The good news is he was scheduled to return to the track for training on Tuesday.

"It's a bit of a disappointment,'' Levine said of his winter in south Florida. "You got to keep on truckin."