Mr. Buff lands 11th stakes victory in Stymie

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Mr. Buff collects second straight stakes win – and 11th in his career – in Saturday’s Stymie at Aqueduct. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

The wire came just in time for Mr. Buff Saturday, with Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred gelding holding off Limonite to win the $125,000 Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct.

Racing at 1 mile on the sloppy and sealed main track against open company, Mr. Buff was quick out of the gate and only two other runners stuck with the 7-10 favorite early. Manny Franco stayed relaxed and Mr. Buff looked comfortable down the backstretch, looking like he’d be on the way to another romp through a half-mile in :45.51.

Mr. Buff still led at the top the stretch and after 6 furlongs in 1:09.97. In the lane, Limonite loomed large to his outside and longtime pursuer Musical Heart looked a bit resurgent after dropping a few lengths behind.

The winning post came just in time for Mr. Buff as the big gelding won by a half-length over the too-late Limonite with Musical Heart another half back in third. Mr. Buff secured his 11th stakes victory in 1:36.97.

“(Musical Heart) kept pushing my horse and I know my horse can rate but I just wanted to let him do his thing,” Franco said. “When I got to the front, I was happy and I know that’s the way he likes to run.

“He’s got a big stride and he just outruns the other horses. The last sixteenth I felt he was tiring, but I know he went pretty quick the first part, and that was my plan.”

Mr. Buff fends off eventual runner-up Limonite (left) and third-place Musical Heart to win the Stymie. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Mr. Buff needed 25 races to win his first stakes race but once he visited the winner’s circle in the 2018 Alex M. Robb at Aqueduct he turned into a stakes-winning machine. He’s won or placed in 13 of his next 19 races – all at the stakes level.

Mr. Buff is a third generation homebred for the Bromans, who also bred his sire Friend Or Foe and his grandsire Friends Lake after buying that horse’s dam for $900,000 at the 1997 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. The other half of Mr. Buff’s story also started in Kentucky, where the Bromans purchased his Grade 3-placed dam Speightful Affair at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale for $80,000.

Six and not in foal at the time of purchase, Speightful Affair had produced a New York-bred colt the previous year who would go on to be the stakes-placed Organic Gemini. The Bromans sent her to Friend Or Foe and the rest is history.

Mr. Buff was the first of three foals to result from Speightful Affair visiting Friend Or Foe with the gelding also having a year-young winning half-brother named Cain Is Abel and an unraced 3-year-old full sister named Miss Buff. Between her visits that produced those two, she was bred to Scat Daddy to produce the four-time winner Daddy Knows.

After a year off, Speightful Affair foaled a New York-bred Accelerate colt last April.

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