Mr. Buff completes Robb-Jazil double for second straight year

Saturday, January 25th, 2020

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Mr. Buff took consistency to a new level Saturday when he wired Saturday’s $100,000 Jazil Stakes for older horses at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The massive chestnut’s victory in the 1 1/8-mile contest not only represented a successful title defense, after he won the Jazil last year by more than five lengths (also in gate-to-wire fashion), but also marked the second straight year he put together back-to-back victories in the Alex M. Robb Stakes for New York-breds to close out one campaign and won the Jazil to kick off the next.

In peak form for a prolonged period, 6-year-old Mr. Buff came into the Jazil having won eight of his last 12 starts going back to November 2018. He was facing off-going – a muddy (sealed) track – for the first time in over a year, but it seemed to take nothing discernable away from in his performance.

Breaking smoothly from post one as the 3-5 favorite in the scratched-down field of five, Mr. Buff took control early under regular partner Junior Alvarado. He set opening splits of 23.53 and 47.30 while keeping a measured length in front of Leitone in second and Stan the Man in third. Backsideofthemoon chased eight lengths back, while Adventist was outrun by more than 20 lengths after the first half-mile.

Clear through the far turn and still fully in charge at the quarter pole, Mr. Buff cruised home over the slop unchallenged, completing a mile in 1:38.05, nine furlongs in 1:51.82 and winning by a final margin of five lengths. Backsideofthemoon closed into second, while just keeping a nose in front of Adventist who had barreled home from far out of it to finish third. Leitone and Stan the Man faded to third and fourth.

Alvarado explained his tactics for the race. “I thought with [Leitone] on the outside with a little speed there’s no chance for me to sit second,” the jockey said. “I had to go. If I let him go, I probably wouldn’t catch him. I didn’t think any horse was coming from behind in this race, that’s what I told [trainer] John [Kimmel]. They would have to chase me and the way I got away I didn’t think any horse was coming at the end. That was my strategy and it worked out. Once again, Mr. Buff made it there.”

Kimmel indicated that he had the sloppy conditions top of mind going in, but was pleased that Mr. Buff classed up to the task.

“You’re always nervous when you get a track as wet as this one was today, but he’s such a class animal,” Kimmel said. “I don’t think there’s any surface he wouldn’t try on. He got pressed by the two second-choices and put them away to set it up for [Backsideofthemoon] that finished second. It was a pretty significant pace today considering the conditions, but he was up to the task.”

Mr. Buff graduated to a steady diet of stakes races in the fall of 2018, gaining his first black-type win in the Alex M. Robb. In 2019 made the rounds of all three NYRA venues, adding his first Jazil win and victories in the state-bred Saginaw Stakes, Evan Shipman and Empire Classic on Belmont’s Showcase Day in the fall, before coming around to his Robb repeat last December 28. He also took his game to graded stakes foes last year, contesting the Grade 2 New Orleans H. in March, the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga and Grade 1 Clark.

Mr. Buff has won 13 of 35 starts in all, with six seconds and four thirds and has nearly reached seven figures in purse money with $992,411 in career earnings.

A third generation homebred for Chester and Mary Broman through the male line, Mr. Buff is a gelded son of the Bromans’ multiple stakes winning homebred Friend or Foe, by Friends Lake, winner of the 2004 the Florida Derby.

Mr. Buff’s dam Speightful Affair is a graded stakes-placed Ontario-bred by Speightstown, who was purchased by the Bromans for $80,000 at the Fasig-Tipton 2013 winter mixed sale.

In 2018 Speightful Affair produced a full sister to Mr. Buff named Miss Buff. With no surviving foal last year, she was bred to Accelerate.

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