Updated on 09/15/2011 12:40PM

'Champ' faces a slugfest

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Trainer John Terranova alongside the reason he is "very excited."

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer John Terranova is looking forward to Thursday, and it has little to do with the fact he turns 31 that day.

Terranova hopes to have another reason to celebrate when he sends out Heavyweight Champ in Thursday's $100,000, Grade 2 Sanford Stakes for juvenile colts. A field of six was entered in the six-furlong race that goes as race eight on a nine-race card.

Heavyweight Champ was one of three juvenile winners Terranova sent out at the Belmont meeting, but by far the most impressive. He displayed exceptional speed en route to a two-length victory in which he ran five furlongs in 57.49 seconds. It was the fourth-fastest of 20 races run at the distance.

"Richie [Migliore] said he was drifting out a little bit but he wasn't tired at all," Terranova said. "Every time he asked him he'd go, then wait a little bit, then go, then wait a little, so he showed some greenness. But, he seemed to come out of the race fantastic."

Saturday at Belmont, Heavyweight Champ breezed five furlongs in 58.46 seconds, the fastest of 38 works at the distance.

Terranova said exercise rider Simon Harris "thought he was being lazy. He did it pretty much on his own. . . . I'm very excited, cautiously excited. They show you a lot in the morning and he seems like a real nice horse. Hopefully, he'll turn into a nice racehorse."

The Sanford drew a couple of nice racehorses. Buster's Daydream is a multiple graded stakes winner, having taken the Flash and Tremont at Belmont. In the Tremont, Buster's Daydream sat just off the pace setting Day Trader before drawing off in upper stretch.

"I was real happy with the way he ran in the Tremont," trainer Tim Tullock said from Maryland. "He showed he didn't have to be out there banging heads. He likes to run at horses."

As the lone graded-stakes winner in the field, Buster's Daydream must carry 122 pounds, spotting his rivals five pounds. John Velazquez rides.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won 28 2-year-old stakes at Saratoga, including the Sanford five times. He sends out Proud Citizen, a Gone West colt who won his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths in his second start. His time of 1:02.99, was just two ticks off More Than Ready's track record. Jerry Bailey rides form post 4.

Draw Play, who beat Proud Citizen by a neck and was second to Buster's Daydream in the Tremont, may be helped in the Sanford by drawing post 5. He had the rail in the Tremont.

Seeking the Money and Peekskill complete the field.

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