BUFF MY BOOTS LOOKS TO DOUBLE UP IN SMART HALO

Buff My Boots
Buff My Boots (#5) bested Sparkle Sprinkle in the Maryland Million Lassie. Photo Allison Janezic.

Buff My Boots and Sparkle Sprinkle, respectively first and third in the Maryland Million Lassie last month, are entered to renew their budding rivalry as part of a field of eight for the $100,000 Smart Halo.

Bird Mobberley’s Buff My Boots and Eric Rizer homebred Sparkle Sprinkle have met in each of their past two starts. Buff My Boots ran third and Sparkle Sprinkle sixth in an Oct. 3 starter optional claimer at Laurel that served as their Maryland Million prep.

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Buff My Boots set the pace in the Lassie through testing splits of 22.59 and 45.63 seconds and lost the lead by a head to Sparkle Sprinkle leaving the furlong grounds before coming on again to best that rival while holding off My Thoughts by a half-length.

“To tell you the truth, I thought she was beat at the head of the lane when [Sparkle Sprinkle] came to her, and she showed her guts. She dug back in,” trainer John Salzman Jr. said. “There’s no doubt about it, she can run. And she’s fast, and it looks like she’ll carry it a little further. She was sort of going away from those horses. There were some horses that came running late, but she’s a nice filly. She’s done everything I’ve asked of her. Knock on wood, she seems to have come out of that race good.”

Buff My Boots drew outside Post 8 under regular rider J. D. Acosta. If Salzman opts not to run on the quick turnaround, he will point to the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Fillies for Maryland-bred/sired horses going seven furlongs Dec. 4.

“It’s just a little quicker back than I’d like to see off a big effort like she gave me,” Salzman said. “If there’s something that I don’t like or if somebody shows up that I think is really tough, I’ll just skip it and wait for the Maryland-bred race.”

Sparkle Sprinkle was making her stakes debut in the Lassie, her fourth career start. Trained by Jerry Robb, she opened with back-to-back wins Aug. 28 at Timonium and Sept. 18 at Laurel, before running a troubled sixth in the Oct. 3 race won by Click to Confirm, who is also entered in the Smart Halo.

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