02/10/2007 12:00AM

Buffalo Man tops cast of 14 in Championship


OCALA, Fla. - Buffalo Man, winner of the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his last start, is the horse to beat in Monday's $100,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Championship Stakes at the Ocala Training Center. The Championship is one of six non-parimutuel stakes on the card, which will offer total purses of $390,000.

Four of the stakes - the male and female divisions of both the Championship and the Sprint - are for 3-year-olds who have gone through the sales ring of an OBS auction.

Buffalo Man, trained by Cam Gamolati, was entered in Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds but was committed to this spot after drawing post 14 in New Orleans. This Championship also attracted 14 entrants with Buffalo Man in post 5 under 2006 Eclipse Award-winning jockey Edgar Prado. Only 13 starters are expected since Bello Pappa has been scratched.

The Spectacular Bid Stakes was Buffalo Man's fourth win in six career starts. He also won the Storm Cat at the Meadowlands in November and finished a close third in the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth.

Skip Code, trained by the 2006 Sovereign Award winner Mark Casse won the $175,000 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes at Woodbine last October. A son of Skip Away, Skip Code targeted the Breeders' Cup Juvenile but was unplaced after running into traffic problems. This race is his 3 year-old debut. Woodbine's leading rider the past two seasons, Emma-Jayne Wilson, has been given the mount.

Steelix lost his rider in his November debut at Calder Race Course but has not finished worse than second in four starts since. He enters Monday's race off a runner-up finish in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Jose Lezcano will ride for trainer Kirk Ziadie.

Green Vegas, owned and trained by Luis Olivares, has a formidable record. A son of Trippi, he has finished worse than third only once - a race in which he was impeded - in nine starts. Green Vegas has won both the Foolish Pleasure Breeders' Cup and the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course. In his most recent effort, he was a rallying third in the Spectacular Bid Stakes behind Buffalo Man. Eibar Coa will ride.

* Suaveness, owned and trained by Robert Arrango, won the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay three weeks ago, and is likely to dominate her 10 rivals in the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes for fillies. Charles Forrest will ride.

* The two $50,000 divisions of the OBS Sprint Championship at six furlongs each drew 11 entrants. The male division is headed by Indiana Futurity winner B.B. Mancini, while Lia's Luck, most recently third in a Gulfstream allowance, is the horse to beat in the filly division. Full Blast was scratched from the male division.

* The $45,000 Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes at five furlongs drew six runners with Put Back the Shu having unquestionably the best racing record. One's Not Enough has been scratched from the original field of six, which was restricted to the progeny of sires who had their seasons donated to the 2003 Florida Thoroughbred Charities live auction.

* The final race of the day, the $45,000 Florida Breeders' Distaff Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares, attracted the 2006 stakes winners Howaboutrightnow, Top Notch Lady, and Running Lass. The conditions of the race gave entry preference to Florida-breds, but turned out to be open to all runners as a field of only six was entered.

Post time for the first race of the day is 1:30 p.m.