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Updated on 09/15/2011 1:43PM
Buster's Daydream heading to Ellis Park
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - There is good news for New York's juvenile colt and gelding division. You won't have to face Buster's Daydream for the remainder of the Saratoga meeting.
That's because the connections of Buster's Daydream, winner of New York's first three graded stakes for juveniles, will make his next start in the $100,000 Ellis Park Juvenile on Aug. 18.
Trainer Tim Tullock said he likes the timing and distance of the seven-furlong Ellis Park race better than the 6 1/2-furlong Saratoga Special, run three days earlier. Tullock plans to use the Ellis Park Juvenile as a prep for the Grade 1 Futurity at Belmont on Sept. 16 and then the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 27, also at Belmont.
Hopefully, he'll have what should be an easier race," Tullock said of the Ellis Park Juvenile. "``I can get seven-eighths into him earlier than if I wait for the Hopeful. If I run in the Hopeful, the Futurity comes back too quick. We've asked a lot of him already and he's delivered. I want to have a horse left come Oct. 27."
Tullock, who is based at Laurel Park, said Buster's Daydream went back to the track Tuesday for the first time since his 5 1/4-length victory in the July 26 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga. Earlier this summer, Buster's Daydream, a son of Housebuster, won both the Grade 3 Flash and Grade 3 Tremont at Belmont Park. Overall, Buster's Daydream has won 4 of 5 starts.
Because the Ellis Park Juvenile is run the same day as the Alabama, Tullock will most likely have to find a new rider for Buster's Daydream. Regular jockey John Velazquez is scheduled to ride Fleet Renee in the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga. Tullock said Velazquez would not be penalized for not riding Buster's Daydream.
"It's not going to create a problem for him down the road, if he wants to ride him back," Tullock said."``We're using this race as a stepping-stone. He's proven what he can prove in New York, although I still don't think any of them are convinced."
Speightstown returns a new horse
When last seen at Saratoga, Speightstown left a large Travers Day crowd wondering why anyone would pay $2 - no less $2 million - for the son of Gone West.
Sent off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of 13, Speightstown raced extremely green and finished last, 15 lengths behind subsequent stakes winner Ommadon.
Nearly a full year later, Speightstown returns to Saratoga riding a three-race winning streak into Friday's $125,000 Amsterdam Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters.
Speightstown is one of 12 horses trainer Phil England brought down from Woodbine, all for owners Eugene and Laura Melnyk. Speightstown owns a maiden win at Gulfstream, but his current winning streak has been accomplished at Woodbine.
Friday, he must take on City Zip, the top East Coast sprinting 3-year-old, as well as Fistfite, Smile My Lord, Snow Ridge, and Trailthefox.
"We figured it's time to try again down here," said England, who was not the trainer of Speightstown for his debut last August. "He just lacked experience. Hopefully, we put some solid experience into him. We're just hoping we can compete. He did everything good up there and there were some tough horses in that last race."
England was able to secure the services of Jerry Bailey for Speightstown, who figures to be challenging the speedy City Zip from the outset. Speightstown did get one breeze over the track, a half-mile in 51.41 seconds on July 25.
In his only other foray in graded stakes competition, Speightstown finished seventh, beaten 24 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct.
"The race in New York, he just fell apart," England said. "Maybe it was all too much, too close together for him."
Put It Back out for the year
X-rays confirmed that Put It Back, who was to run in Friday's Amsterdam, has a stress crack in the cannon bone of his left foreleg and will be out until next spring, trainer Allen Jerkens said.
Jerkens said the injury will not require surgery. Put It Back will remain with Jerkens until he's able to ship to Hobeau Farm in Ocala, Fla., where he will spend the next several months.
"He probably won't run until next spring," Jerkens said. "He'll come back good, I think. He looked like he was sounder than ever. When they feel real good, sometimes they overextend themselves."
Put It Back has won all five of his starts this year, including the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes on Belmont Day last time out. Monday, he came off the track sore following a three-furlong workout in 36.12 seconds.
Bridgmohan day to day
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who was struck in the face by a horse on Monday, said he probably would not ride on Wednesday, and thereafter his status would be day to day.
Bridgmohan had one tooth knocked out and another pushed up into his gum when the horse he was on in the fourth race, Montmorenci, head-butted him while entering the track from the paddock. Bridgmohan fractured his upper gums, which required approximately 100 stitches to repair. Tuesday, Bridgmohan still had swelling in the gums and was sore.
"They told me I can ride, I just don't want to get any dirt in it," Bridgmohan said Tuesday. "It's pretty swollen right now. I'll let it tell me when I should go back. I don't want rush it and then something else go wrong."
It has been a tough eight-month stretch for Bridgmohan. In December, he suffered four broken ribs and a punctured lung at Aqueduct, forcing him to miss a month of action.
King Cugat eyes Sword Dancer
King Cugat, winner of the 11-furlong Bowling Green Handicap in his last start, may run next in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational on Aug. 11. Sunday, King Cugat breezed seven furlongs in 1:28.06 over the Oklahoma turf course.
Trainer Bill Mott had been considering running King Cugat in the Arlington Million on Aug. 18. But Mott has Hap for that race and the Sword Dancer may be a good opportunity to find out if King Cugat can handle 12 furlongs, the distance of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf.
"It's an unanswered question," Mott said of the distance. "It's less of a factor now than it was when he ran the last race."
King Cugat was one of 14 original invitees to the Sword Dancer. Of those 14, the only expected runners are past Sword Dancer winners John's Call (2000), and Honor Glide (1999) along with With Anticipation. An alternate list will be published next Monday.
Last Monday, Honor Glide breezed four furlongs in 48 seconds over the Oklahoma turf course.
Delay of Game retired
Delay of Game, a versatile 8-year-old gelding who was proficient on both turf and dirt, has been retired after cracking a bone in the pastern of his right foreleg, trainer Rusty Arnold said.
The injury probably occurred during the running of an allowance race here on July 25 when Delay of Game was beaten a head.
"He'd have to have about a year off and by then he'd be close to the end of his 9-year-old year," Arnold said. "We're going to get him sound and find a good home for him. He's been such a good horse to have; he's won sprinting and up to a 1 1/8 miles on dirt and he's won up to 1 1/16 miles on turf."
A son of Summer Squall, Delay of Game retires with a record of 16-9-4 from 48 starts and earnings of $809,023. His lone graded stakes win came in the Grade 3 Stuyvesant at Aqueduct. He also won the last two runnings of the ungraded Tampa Budweiser Breeders' Cup Handicap on turf. He was Grade 2 stakes-placed several times, including in the 1999 Keeneland Turf Mile.