01/28/2008 12:00AM

Buffalo Man may have found new home on turf

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Buffalo Man is good on dirt. It looks like he may be even better on grass after he capitalized on a perfect trip to score a half-length victory over Elusive Fort in Sunday's $125,000 Appleton Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Buffalo Man won a pair of stakes over the main track, including the Spectacular Bid locally at 3. Trainer Cam Gambolati moved him to grass for the first time in Calder's Pete Axthelm Stakes and was rewarded with a fast-closing second place finish in the colt's final start of 2007.

After Buffalo Man ($8.80) broke alertly from his inside post for the one-mile Appleton, jockey Edgar Prado kept him a lot closer to the lead than he had been in the Axthelm.

"The last time I think he was kind of surprised to be on the turf, they went fast early, and he fell so far behind," said Prado. "But once he got his feet undernearth him he came flying. I've worked him every time since and liked him more and more. I think he's found a home on the turf."

Buffalo Man tracked the pace of Jet Propulsion, engaged the leader and forged to command near midstretch, then withstood Elusive Fort.

Elusive Fort, making just his second start in the United States, also rallied from good position to finish second, another half-length in front of the tiring Jet Propulsion.

Host, co-favorite at 3-1 along with Buffalo Man, fanned very wide into the stretch and finished fourth in the final start of his career.

Buffalo Man, owned by the Ol Memorial Stable and C.E. Glasscock, covered the distance in 1:34.86 over a firm course.