SAPLING STAKES | PURSE: $300,000 | 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 3 | 6 FURLONGS
After tracking the leaders through the turn, Michael Langford's Dunkin Bend rallied three wide turning for home on his way to a clear victory in the $96,000 Sapling Stakes Sept. 1 at Monmouth Park.
Dunkin Bend completed six furlongs in 1:11.82 on a track listed as fast to secure the first stakes victory of his career. In a short field of four 2-year-olds, the son of Dunkirk edged past Yes I'm Lucky near mid-stretch and drew off to a 1 ¼-length victory.
"I saw two horses going to the front so I settled him just off of that," said winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. "He relaxed very nice and made a good move around the turn. We were a little wide, but when I asked him he kicked on and held well."
Sent off as the even-money favorite, Dunkin Bend returned $4 to win and $2.40. Yes I'm Lucky returned $2.60 to place. With just four starters, there was no show wagering.
Jockey Gabriel Saez lost the irons early riding Run for Logistics but they recovered to rally past Foileen to finish third.
Dunkin Bend is the first stakes winner for freshman sire Dunkirk , who stood the 2013 season for $10,000 at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky. Bred in Kentucky by Thoroughbred Racing Legends Stable, Dunkin Bend is out of the Vindication mare Misty Run.
Dunkin Bend has won two of his three lifetime starts with a second, good for earnings of $117,000. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Dunkin Bend secured his maiden win in his second career start Aug. 3 at Saratoga Race Course.
Earlier Sunday at Monmouth, 3-1 shot Miss Behaviour trounced her rivals by 8 ¼ lengths in the $104,000 Sorority Stakes, drawing away to an impressive 8 ¼ length score. She was timed in 1:11.54 for six furlongs, with favored Yes Liz second and Mallory Street third.
Gary Cruise rode the 2-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Jump Start to victory for owner/breeders Cal MacWilliam and Teitelbaum & Associates and trainer Phil Schoenthal.