Race Preview: Grade 3 Sapling Stakes - Monmouth Park, September 1, 2013

Matt Carter

September 1st, 2013

The calendar turns to September, meaning only two months until the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita. Two-year-olds with perhaps their eyes on the Juvenile run on Sunday at Monmouth Park in the Grade 3 Sapling Stakes. The six furlong sprint drew a field of seven; let's take a look.

All in Blue is the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher coming out of a disappointing fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga in July. All in Blue won his debut by a geared down six and one-quarter lengths, but could not replicate that effort in the Sanford. Pletcher ships the colt down to Monmouth and will break from the rail. his biggest competition may come from another Saratoga based horse.

Dunkin Bend ran very well in his debut, finishing second in a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs. The son of Dunkirk then moved forward in his second start, crushing by just under six lengths. All in Blue broke his maiden at five furlongs while Dunkin Bend broke his at six. Dunkin Bend will also break from post five so jockey Ricardo Santana can adapt to any pace scenario.

The post-time favorite for the Sanford at Saratoga was Debt Ceiling, the Discreet Cat colt that had won his first three starts including the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs in June. Debt Ceiling never looked comfortable in the Sanford and if he runs back to the Bashford Manor he will be tough. Perhaps he will also be a decent price.

The two local hopes in the Sapling are Yes I'm Lucky and Run for Logistics, the pair exiting a one-two finish in the Tyro Stakes on the turf. Yes I'm Lucky is bred to be fast and is a perfect three-for-three in his career. Run for Logistics won his debut at Monmouth before finishing second in the Tyro. Their two speed figures are on par with the favorites and are likely to be overlooked in the wagering as well.

Only seven in the field, but contention runs deep. It may be best to use "all" in the late pick-4. Post time for Sapling is 6:04 pm ET.