Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monmouth Park Barn Notes for Saturday, August 30, 2008
OCEANPORT, N.J. * Wild Proof, who broke his maiden here in eye-catching fashion, steps up in Sunday’s $150,000 Sapling Stakes (G3), final graded stakes of the Monmouth summer season *Trainer Kelly Breen sends out a pair of fillies in the $100,000 Sorority Stakes on Sunday.
Sunday’s $150,000 Sapling Stakes (G3) is the final graded stakes of the season at Monmouth, and the field drawn for the six-furlong event suggests this 74th running will live up to its historic high standards.
Although favoritism in this test of 2-year-olds will go to the New York invaders Valiancy and Silent Valor, a Monmouth-based horse named Wild Proof should have a loud say in the outcome of the Sapling.
“He’s a big, lanky colt,” said trainer Ben Perkins Jr., “and we gave him time off after he won. We pointed for the Sapling to see how he fits with a better class of horses.”
Perkins noted that Wild Proof has been working sharply for his first stakes try with a series of sharp breezes.
“He’s been working great,” the trainer said. “It looks like the time between races has been right for him.”
Wild Proof blew out for the Sapling with an eye-catching move on Wednesday when he went a handy half-mile in :47 flat, easily best of 31 works at the distance that day.
Jose Lezcano, Monmouth’s leading rider, will again be aboard.
The colt has a winning family heritage to emulate. His sire, Vindication, was the 2-year-old champion of 2002, and his dam, Wild Snitch, won Monmouth’s Sorority Stakes in 2002 for Perkins.
“It would be great to get a Sapling winner from a Sorority winner,” said Perkins.
Wild Snitch suffered a condylar fracture during the running of the Miss Woodford Stakes in August of 2003, and her survival was a near thing.
“The vets * Dr. Pete Hall and Dr. Patty Hogan * did a great job in saving her,” Perkins said. “I think she’ll be a really good broodmare.”
Wild Proof, the mare’s second foal, was catalogued to be sold at Keeneland last year, but New Farm owner Ebby Novak bought him back.
“He was very immature-looking at the sale,” Perkins said, “and he didn’t meet his reserve.”
Wild Snitch’s third foal, a yearling by Saint Liam, is scheduled to be sold at Keeneland this fall. She is currently in foal to Hard Spun.
Depending on whom you believe, Perkins Jr. is going for his first or second Sapling victory on Sunday. According to the record books, he’s listed as the trainer of 1993 Sapling winner, John Franks’ Sacred Honour.
“I think my father (Ben Perkins Sr.) deserves the credit for that one,” Perkins said. “I had some other horses for Mr. Franks at the time, but my father actually saddled Sacred Honour the day he won the Sapling.”
BREEN COMES OUT WITH ONE-TWO PUNCH FOR SUNDAY’S SORORITY
Trainer Kelly Breen will saddle two fillies for George and Lori Hall in Sunday’s $100,000 Sorority Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, and feels he holds a winning hand.
“We think they’re a good one-two punch,” Breen said of Boom Town Miss and Fools in Love.
“Boom Town Miss drew the rail, and she’ll have to go from there. We put blinkers on her for this race, and that should help her from the inside post,” the trainer said.
“Fools in Love looks like she wants to be a closer, and we’re hoping she can run them all down in the stretch.”
Boom Town Miss, a bay daughter of Yes It’s True (who won Monmouth’s Sapling Stakes in 1998), is the more-experienced of the pair. She started her career on April 10 with a fifth on the Polytrack at Keeneland, and then broke her maiden by seven at Delaware on May 3.
Breen was encouraged to try her in a stakes race, and sent Boom Town Miss up to Saratoga for the Grade 3 Schuylerville on July 23. The filly seemed to dislike the very sloppy track and never ran a step, finishing seventh.
“I was just happy she came back good after that experience,” Breen said of the race.
In her most recent outing, Boom Town Miss battled for the lead in an allowance event at Delaware, but dropped a neck decision.
“It looked like when she made the lead she was just waiting on that other horse. That’s why we added blinkers, to keep her focused.”
Pedro Cotto Jr. rides the filly for the first time in the Sorority.
Fools in Love, by Not for Love, broke her maiden at first asking here on July 5, coming from off the pace to score by a neck under Joe Bravo, who has the call again Sunday.
In the Colleen Stakes on Aug. 2, she again attempted to come from off the pace, but she was seven lengths behind at the eighth pole and could never make up all the ground, finishing third behind Smokin Bayou, who goes from Post 2 in the Sorority.
“We’re hoping she stays within striking distance, and has the time to run ‘em down,” Breen said.
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