06/30/2001 12:00AM

Buster's Daydream passes Tremont test


ELMONT, N.Y. - Buster's Daydream confirmed that his 4 1/2-length victory in the Flash was no fluke by winning Saturday's Grade 3 $106,300 Tremont Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park.

Draw Play rallied for second, 4 1/2 lengths in front of pace-setting Day Trader. Pinch Hitter and Cloudy Mist completed the order of finish.

It was the third straight win for Buster's Daydream, a son of Housebuster purchased for $38,000 last September by Stephen Barberino Jr.'s S J Bee Stable.

"This was a big test and he passed," trainer Tim Tullock said. "He did what good horses do. He bounced today and he still won. He didn't come up to this race as sharp or as fresh as the last one, as he shouldn't have. He had six weeks in between [his previous two races]; he only had 20 days here. While he was good and he was healthy he didn't have that 'oomph,' but I felt like good horses overcome that. He proved a lot to me today."

Day Trader, under Jerry Bailey, broke on top and set the pace. John Velazquez had Buster's Daydream stalking in second through an opening quarter run in 22.57 seconds. Buster's Daydream crept up alongside Day Trader at the five-sixteenths pole and took command in upper stretch.

Buster's Daydream covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.96 and returned $5 to win as the 3-2 favorite.

Tullock said he would consider running Buster's Daydream at Saratoga in either the Sanford Stakes on July 26 or the Saratoga Special on Aug. 15.

Solar Deputy takes Mike Lee

Solar Deputy, who was entered in the $140,167 Mike Lee Handicap as insurance for stablemate Personal Pro, went gate to wire to take the seven-furlong race for New York-breds by a head over the late-running Sweet Ricky.

Bakhoor, the 2-1 favorite, engaged Solar Deputy at the quarter pole but settled for third, one length ahead of Personal Pro. Under Edgar Prado, Solar Deputy covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.79 and returned $6.90 to win.

"I'd rather be lucky than smart," winning trainer James Bond said.

The Mike Lee is the first leg of the Big Apple Triple, a series for New York-breds that also includes the $125,000 New York Derby on July 28 at Finger Lakes and the $150,000 Albany Handicap on Aug. 22 at Saratoga. If Solar Deputy can win those two races, he will earn owner James Edwards a $250,000 bonus.