November 14, 2010

Death of a Father, Death of a Son

I am very saddened to report we have lost a special horse today. Buddy's Saint has been euthanized after breaking down while working this morning at Belmont Park. Buddy’s Saint was a three-year-old son of the ill-fated Saint Liam, and was a member of the only crop of the 2005 Horse of the Year. Saint Liam passed away at the young age of six-years-old, after a freak accident caused an untreatable fracture. Despite siring only one crop, Saint Liam had two excellent race horses in Buddy, and the topnotch filly Havre de Grace. Today was a sad twist of fate, as his most talented son has now joined him in dying far too young.

A colt with seemingly unlimited potential, Buddy’s Saint fractured his left shoulder while breezing on Belmont’s main track. Because of the seriousness of the injury there was no alternative but to euthanize him. Trained by Bruce Levine and owned by Kingfield Stables, he was the toast of the juvenile set last Fall after winning Aqueduct’s Grade 2 Nashua and Grade 2 Remsen Stakes in sensational fashion. The two victories, by a combined 16 ¾ lengths, made Buddy‘s Saint one of the hot favorites for the 2010 Kentucky Derby. After the Remsen, Levine was quoted as saying, “I wouldn't trade places with anyone in America." Unfortunately, the Derby would never happen, and 2010 would turn out to be a nightmare for Buddy’s Saint, Levine, and all those who cared about the bay colt.

In his 2010 debut, Buddy’s Saint finished ninth as the 9-5 favorite in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February. That day, he was victimized by a nightmare trip, and to make matters worse, a bone chip was discovered in his right front ankle requiring surgery. Away from working for half of the year, Buddy had returned to the worktab on August 28 and had eleven published workouts in the past 2 ½ months. The last coming on November 8, when he worked four furlongs at Belmont in 48.67. It was expected that he was getting very close to a return to the races. A return that would have drew much interest, especially for anyone who had seen him run as a juvenile.

When Saint Liam passed away at the age of six, it was a tragedy. The racing world was robbed of a great horse and a promising young sire. Today’s horrible accident and subsequent death of Buddy’s Saint is even more tragic, and displays just how cruel fate can be. Saint Liam’s best son is gone, and much like his father, he has left us at a heartbreakingly young age. Rest in Peace Buddy’s Saint.

Photo by Eric Kalet


Amateurcapper said...


Nice tribute to a talented, ill-fated colt.

Reading this makes me appreciate ZENYATTA's, BLAME's, and GOLDIKOVA's careers even more. So much needs to go right to keep them sound and alive.

Even BLAME's career, shorter than the mares' racing life, but he accomplished a lot in a carefully mapped out to Al Stall, Jr., John Shirreffs, and Freddie Head along with their staffs, for keeping those three champions whole and at peak condition for a Breeders' Cup to remember.

Brian Zipse said...

Thanks Rob, I hate writing ones like these, but I feel I owe it to the memory of a horse like this. Point well taken on Z, Goldi, and Blame ... or how about an old warrior like Brass Hat, who will go after the Grade 1 Clark in a few weeks.

Celeste said...

Brian, thank you. Since I first saw your very early post about Buddy's Saint on facebook, I kept looking for the information, but then I was devastated when I finally found it. I thought very highly of this beautiful colt last year and was looking forward to his return and's just so sad. My heavy heart is telling me maybe it is time to take a break from the horses.

Brian Zipse said...

Celeste, I wish there was something in life that did not leave us earlier than we want them to. I hope that your heart always has room to love many things, and you remember to enjoy each moment of all the things that you love.