Diabolical One to Fear in Sapling

A field of seven juvenile colts and geldings has been drawn for Saturday's 71st running of the Sapling Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park. The Steve Klesaris-trained Diabolical, impressive while breaking his maiden at Belmont July 7 by 9 3/4 lengths, heads up the field.

Bred in Kentucky by Longleaf Pine Farm, Puglisi Stables' Diabolical has added a July 23 bullet work (4f, :47.80) to his Belmont performance and looks to be a serious contender here.

His current owners purchased him for $300,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's February 2-year-olds in training sale and look to recoup some of that investment with the winner's share of the $150,000 purse.

By Artax, and out of the Dayjur mare Bonnie Byerly, Diabolical captured his maiden win at first asking, never trailing after breaking from the rail.

Cornelio Velasquez gets the return call from Klesaris for another trip from post one.

Joel Kligman homebred The Village Vicar has experience over the surface, fifth in his last start July 30 in the Tyro Stakes, 4 3/4 lengths behind Sapling rival He's Got Grit.

By Vicar, out of the winning Well Decorated mare Buzz, Buzz, Buzz, the colt is trained by Jim Ryerson, who won the Tyro Stakes last year with Park Avenue Ball, eventual second-place finisher in the Sapling.

The Village Vicar is stabled at Monmouth and has posted steady works over the surface, including a three-furlong drill (:38.00) Thursday morning. He will add blinkers for the first time.

"He should love the added distance," said Ryerson of his colt who who couldn't get to front-running He's Got Grit in the 5 1/2-furlong Tyro.

Chris DeCarlo will get aboard for a trip from post 5.

Curtis Green's undefeated hombred He's Got Grit, by Songandaprayer   scored in the Tyro by three-quarters of a length over Sapling foe Confront.

The Steve Asmussen trainee was bred in Florida out of the With Approval mare Hollow Miss. He began his unblemished career with a maiden win at first asking in a maiden-claiming contest at Churchill Downs June 26 and has been on the lead in all but one point of calls in his two wins.

Aaron Gryder will guide He's Got Grit from post four. It should be a race for the lead with July 24 maiden winner at Woodbine, Ballado Dancer, also showing early speed.

Caleb Pond and Broadway Ridge make up the rest of the field.

Sapling Stakes (gr. III), Saturday, Aug. 20, 2-year-olds, six furlongs, $150,000.

PP--Horse, Jockey, Weight

1--Diabolical, Cornelio Velasquez, 121
2--Ballado Dancer, Stewart Elliott, 121
3--Caleb Pond, Julian Pimentel, 121
4--He's Got Grit, Aaron Gryder, 121
5--The Village Vicar, Chris DeCarlo, 121
6--Broadway Ridge, Frankie Pennington, 121
7--Confront, Elvis Trujillo, 121


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