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OZONE PARK, NY – Though he’ll only face four rivals, Chester and Mary Broman homebred Mr. Buff‘s attempt at a second title defense won’t be easy in Saturday’s $100,000 Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct.
The Jazil is a 1 1/8-mile dirt route open to all horses ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the third event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 1:20 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Jazil:
1. Musical Heart 2/1 – Will the third time be the charm for him? He’s finished second behind Backsideofthemoon in each of his last 2 starts including the Queens County Stakes over this course and distance last month. That was his first start for trainer Rob Atras, who claimed him for a $62.5k tag 2 starts back, so perhaps Atras has had time to push him forward.
2. Fame to Famous 50/1 – His connections supplemented him into the field after realizing how light the entry box looked, but he still has his work cut out for him. He finished 23 and 26 3/4 lengths behind the winner in 2 prior dirt tries and owns just 1 career victory, a one-turn turf mile against Belmont Park maiden special weight company in October 2019.
3. Tenderfoot 6/1- He finally put things together last fall, breaking his maiden while risked for a $40k tag before defeating starter and first-level allowance rivals in his next 2 starts, each 1-mile tries on the local dirt. His connections supplemented him into his stakes debut, but he’ll have to prove that his early turn of foot handles routing before he’s considered a threat.
4. Mr. Buff 9/5 – Trainer John Kimmel’s ultra-consistent New Yorker continues to be an elite threat at the state-bred and non-graded stakes ranks; September 2018 was the last time he missed the board at one of those levels. His last-out runner-up effort in the Alex M. Robb Stakes came just 7 days after finishing fifth in the Cigar Mile (G1), but he should be fresher here.
“The horse is doing great,” Kimmel said. “He won’t be running back in a week this time. He’s pretty happy right now and doing well. He’s an older horse running without Lasix for the first time in a long time, so we’ll see if it has really had any effect or not.”
5. Backsideofthemoon 7/5 – Trainer Rudy Rodriguez knows how to get the best out of this 9-year-old gelding; after tagging him for $62.5k in August 2019, he won 2 of 3 starts before getting claimed away for $100k. Rodriguez waited almost a year before “buying” him back for $62.5k last September and won both subsequent starts, including the Queens County last time out.
“He’s continued to train very good and we’re looking forward to running,” Rodriguez said. “He’s very consistent and he loves Aqueduct. The last race, he was training so good leading into it and he broke so sharp. I’m just looking forward to seeing him run here again.”
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