Originally published by Maryland Jockey Club - Oct. 23, 2021
Meeting for the second time in 20 days, Bird Mobberley’s Buff My Boots put away Sparkle Sprinkle following a spirited stretch duel and got to the wire ahead of fast-closing longshot My Thoughts for a front-running half-length victory in the $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie.
Ridden by J.D. Acosta, Buff My Boots ($11.80) ran six furlongs in 1:11.14 over a fast main track to give trainer John Salzman Jr. his third career win in the Lassie following Limited View (2017) and Bluegrass Atatude (2011). Limited View would later be named Maryland-bred 2-year-old filly champion.
Buff My Boots and Sparkle Sprinkle, with Xavier Perez up for trainer Jerry Robb, tuned up for the Lassie in a six-furlong optional claimer Oct. 3 at Laurel, respectively running third and sixth after duking it out early.
“It worked out just like we talked about. We didn’t want to kill ourselves with Sparkle Sprinkle, who’s a nice horse. We did it last week but we did it with intentions of settling it there, instead of settling it here,” Salzman said. “It worked out. Xavier took his horse back a little and still got back to us at the head of the lane, and the best horse wins maybe. They both ran big and I’m just proud for Bird and her family. They do a lot and they’re great owners.”
Buff My Boots, a Buffum filly that sold for $7,000 as a yearling last fall at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, went in 22.59 seconds for a quarter-mile pressed by Sweet Gracie with Moon Boss tracking on the outside and Sparkle Sprinkle tucked in along the rail. Perez tipped Sparkle Sprinkle out approaching the stretch and hooked up with Buff My Boots, who dug in again on the inside. My Thoughts came flying late to be second, edging Sparkle Sprinkle by a half-length. Luna Belle, the 5-2 favorite, ran fourth.
“John Robb and Xavier are tough. When they have a horse in the stake, you can’t take them for granted because they’re going to battle,” Acosta said. “The good thing was that I got a little bit of a breather the first quarter, even though I had a little bit of pressure I able to get a little bit more at the end. She’s tough in front. When she puts her head in front she’s tough, and she likes to battle.”