(Mr. Buff winning the Jazil Stakes / Joe Labozetta Photo & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Chester and Mary Broman homebred Mr. Buff improved to 3-for-3 all-time in the $100,000 Jazil, defending his crown by drawing away to an impressive seven-length victory in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile contest for 4-year-olds and up at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The veteran Mr. Buff ended his 2020 campaign with a strong stakes showing, running second in the Alex M. Robb against fellow New York breds on December 12. Returning to open company for his 7-year-old bow, the Friend Or Foe gelding broke well from post 4 under Aqueduct meet-leading rider Kendrick Carmouche, pressuring pacesetter Musical Heart through the opening quarter-mile in 23.96 seconds and the half in 48.95 on the fast main track.
Mr. Buff took command out of the turn and Carmouche sustained the push through the stretch, outkicking a rallying Tenderfoot to complete the course in 1:53.47 and match his margin-of-victory to his age for trainer John Kimmel.
“That was perfect. I told Kendrick that he doesn’t have to be on the lead,” Kimmel said. “The race was perfect. He looked terrific. He just looks good and is just an amazing animal.”
Competing without Lasix, Mr. Buff still showed the form that saw him close 2020 with three consecutive efforts that garnered Beyer Speed Figures of 90 or better.
Mr. Buff improved to 16-8-4 in 43 career starts. He has never won the Jazil by less than five lengths, with his combined margin for the three-peat 17 ¼ lengths. He has won at least one race every year since 2016.
“I think he’s the winningest horse I’ve ever had,” Kimmel said. “He’s settled more and more. He’s just a very good and sound horse. He’s stayed very healthy all through the years. That’s the key with these horses; to keep them sound and healthy.”
Off as the 2-1 second choice, Mr. Buff returned $6.10 on a $2 win wager. The millionaire improved his career earnings to $1,295,786.
“He broke really good,” Carmouche said. “Mr. Kimmel said to do what I think is best in the race. If they don’t break, go. If they want to go, you can sit. I just sat on him all the way around there. He does it all on his own. You just have to stay out of his way and let him get into his stride.”
Tenderfoot, a 4-year-old making his stakes debut in his eighth career start, held off Musical Heart by 1 3/4 lengths for second for trainer Charlton Baker.
“He’s improved a lot,” said Tenderfoot jockey Eric Cancel. “Today, he was facing a much tougher field and he came with his A game. He tried hard against Mr. Buff. He is a really, really good horse and he still gave his run. He ran a huge race and I think he’ll definitely keep on improving.
“Charlie [Baker] always gave me the confidence just to try to do everything right with him and take my time,” he added. “I gave him his time and was patient with him. Once I felt he was ready to go, he went for it.”
Backsideofthemoon, who broke slowly as the 9-5 favorite, and Fame to Famous completed the order of finish.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Aqueduct with a nine-race card, highlighted by the $100,000 Busanda for sophomore fillies going 1 1/8 miles in Race 8. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.