02/07/2007 1:00AM

Risen Star one smaller - Buffalo Man to stay home

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Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds has lost a potential starter, as Buffalo Man will not make the trip from Florida for the race, trainer Cam Gambolati said Wednesday. Buffalo Man had drawn the outside post in a 14-horse Risen Star field, and Gambolati said the wide post position dissuaded Buffalo Man's connections from shipping for the race.

"We planned on coming, but to overcome that is too much," Gambolati said. "The race would be over the first eighth of a mile."

Buffalo Man, who won the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream in his most recent race, will instead start in the Ocala Breeders' Sales Championship Stakes on Monday in Ocala, Fla.

Buffalo Man contested a 44.80-second opening half-mile in the six-furlong Spectacular Bid, and his absence should take a little of the edge off what figured to be a hot early pace in the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star. There still are several other front-end types in the race, the quickest of whom might be Weather Warning, a first-call leader in three of his four starts, all short sprints. Still, Weather Warning's trainer, Dallas Stewart, insisted his colt might not be found on the lead.

"We're going to try and teach him something, and we're going to try and find out something about him," Stewart said.

Weather Warning won a six-furlong entry-level allowance race at Fair Grounds in his most recent start.

The flight from Los Angeles carrying likely Risen Star favorites Circular Quay and Notional was due to arrive Wednesday in New Orleans.