SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – In December, months before the impact of coronavirus was felt in the United States in humans, trainer Steve Klesaris said he was dealing with it with one of his horses.
Buy Land and See, who won a stakes race at Belmont last October, was clinically diagnosed with coronavirus in December shortly after arriving at Gulfstream Park, according to Klesaris. The horse received around the clock care for five weeks before he was well enough to be turned out.
“We didn’t even know what it was,” said Klesaris, who added that the complications from the virus led to pneumonia and colitis.
“It was a hell of an ordeal, I never seen anything like it,” Klesaris said. “Luckily, he made it because there were multiple times we didn’t think so.”
On July 28, Buy Land and See made it back to the races, winning a Pennsylvania-bred allowance race at Parx Racing by 5 1/4 lengths. Wednesday, he returns to stakes company at Saratoga in the $85,000 Mahony Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs over Saratoga’s Mellon turf course.
Buy Land and See, a son of Cairo Prince, debuted in Saratoga last summer and finished third behind Mystic Lancelot. The horse that finished second was Art Collector, who on Sept. 5 is expected to go off the second choice in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Meanwhile, Buy Land and See has won all three of his starts since, including the Awad Stakes at Belmont going a mile. While his other two victories came going 7 1/2 furlongs at Parx, Klesaris said he is shortening him up in distance to use this as a prep for the Grade 3, $500,000 Franklin-Simpson Stakes gong 6 1/2 furlongs on Sept. 16 at Kentucky Downs.
“From an experience factor, we wanted to get a sprint underneath him,” said Klesaris, who trains Buy Land and See for owner-breeder Joe Imbesi. “He’s a lightly raced horse, just more education and experience and if he performs well enough we’ll go to that race next month in Kentucky.”
Buy Land and See will break from the rail under Jose Ortiz.
Turned Aside won the Quick Call Stakes here July 24 and would be one of the choices in the Mahony on Wednesday. However, trainer Linda Rice said Sunday there is a good chance Turned Aside will scratch in favor of the Franklin-Simpson at Kentucky Downs.
Trainer Mark Casse, still in search of his first win of the meet, sends out the uncoupled entry of Jack and Noah and Old Chestnut. Jack and Noah, a speed horse, didn’t break well in the Quick Call, rushed up, and faded to fifth. Old Chestnut, a closer, rallied to be second in that race.
“Jack and Noah didn’t show up at all the other day,” Casse said. “He got away slow, which didn’t help him. The ground was getting away from him. He’s one that prefers the ground to be a little harder. Old Chestnut, he shows up and runs hard.”
Jack and Noah figures to face other speed in here, including Maven and Cajun Casanova.
Flap Jack, beaten two lengths in the Quick Call, Competitive Saint, Island Commish, and Power Up Paynter are likely to come from off the pace.
Original source credited to Daily Racing Form