Stakes Warriors Mr. Buff, Sunny Ridge Gearing Up For Kimmel At Big A

Trainer John Kimmel said Chester and Mary Broman’s popular New York-homebred Mr. Buff could make his next start in the open nine-furlong Jazil on January 23.

Mr. Buff finished second to Bankit last out in the nine-furlong Alex M. Robb on December 12 at the Big A.

The 7-year-old Friend Or Foe gelding posted a record of 8-3-2-0 in 2020, including scores in the Jazil and Haynesfield at Aqueduct and the Empire Classic at Belmont. He entered the Alex M. Robb, a race he won by 7 ½-lengths in 2019, off of one week’s rest from a fifth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap.

Kimmel said he may have been ambitious in the quick turnaround to the Alex M. Robb with the Queens Country, won by Backsideofthemoon on December 19, also an option for the sizable chestnut.

“He was tired after that last race,” said Kimmel. “I walked him for a week and jogged him for a week since. I probably would have been better off waiting for the Queens County. But he’s doing fine.”

Kimmel said Dennis Drazin’s 8-year-old New Jersey-homebred Sunny Ridge, a $1.4 million earning son of Holy Bull, is close to a return.

The multiple graded stakes winner last raced in January 2020 when third in the Grade 3 Toboggan at the Big A. He returned to the work tab in November and has breezed five times on the Belmont dirt training track, including a half-mile in 50.04 on December 28.

“He’s probably three weeks away from running,” said Kimmel. “He’s doing OK. I’d like to find an allowance race for him in the next book.”

Sunny Ridge won the 2016 Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct and a year later took the Jazil and Stymie on the Ozone Park oval. He became a multiple graded-stakes winner in 2019 with a score in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park.

Tobey L. Morton’s Mandatory, a 4-year-old American Pharoah chestnut purchased for $400,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-olds in Training Sale, stretches out to nine furlongs in Sunday’s third race for maidens 4-years-old and up at Aqueduct when returning from more than a year layoff.

“I couldn’t get a sprint race to go. It would have been preferable to run him in a shorter race off a year layoff,” said Kimmel.

Out of the multiple stakes winning Lost Soldier mare Chit Chatter, Mandatory is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1-winner I’m a Chatterbox. The chestnut colt, with blinkers on, breezed a sharp half-mile from the gate in 47.64 on December 27 on the dirt training track. Mandatory will be first-time blinkers in Sunday’s return with Dylan Davis at the helm.

“He’s performed very well in the mornings with blinkers on and has been very sharp,” said Kimmel. “He’s a very well-bred horse and I’ve always liked him, it’s just taken awhile to get him to the point where I’ve been happy with him.

“He’s had a chronic hind end issue,” continued Kimmel. “I gave him time off and started him back but it showed up again, so I gave him all of Saratoga off and knock wood he’s not had any issues since then. He’s been breezing right along and breezing well.”

Mandatory made his first two starts at Belmont in 2019, finishing third in his September 28 debut at six furlongs and fifth last out on October 26 when stretched out to 1 1/16-miles.

“I don’t think he has distance limitations,” said Kimmel. “His first race was pretty impressive considering he got left and then made a good late run going six furlongs. He ran flat the first time I stretched him out to a mile, so I’d say something was starting to bug him at that point as he didn’t come out of that race all that great. He never did have surgery, he just had time off.”

Kimmel said he is hopeful of a good showing from Mandatory.

“We think he’s a damn nice horse and he’s super well bred. He’s a half-brother to a really good filly,” said Kimmel.

The post Stakes Warriors Mr. Buff, Sunny Ridge Gearing Up For Kimmel At Big A appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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