She Digs Me, an impressive two-length winner as the favorite in the Monmouth Park's Tyro Stakes nearly six weeks ago, returns to the track for the $100,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 3.
Kirk and Judy Robison's She Digs Me became the first second-crop stakes winner of the dual grade I-winning Henny Hughes in the 5 1/2-furlong Tyro July 24. The Steve Asmussen trainee stalked the pace for Elvis Trujillo and made his bid three wide on the turn, getting the lead near mid-stretch before drawing off. The time was 1:03.95 over a fast track.
The chestnut colt will have an extra half-furlong to work with as he faces 10 juvenile rivals in the Sapling, which is the ninth race on the Monmouth program. Post time is set for 4:53 p.m. EDT.
She Digs Me comes into the Sapling as the lone stakes winner in the field. He drew post 10 and will once again have the services of Trujillo, the runaway leader in the Monmouth jockey standings this year.
The Kentucky-bred She Digs Me broke his maiden July 2 at Churchill Downs by a nose going 4 1/2 furlongs. The first foal from the stakes-winning mare Stage Stop, by Valid Expectations, he was bred by Mike G. Rutherford and sold for $50,000 as a Keeneland September yearling last year.
Others in the field with stakes experience are Sum of the Parts, from the Tom Amoss barn, and Black Rhino, trained by Wesley Ward.
Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts drew quite a bit of attention in winning his 4 1/2-furlong debut as the 7-5 pick at Churchill by nearly three lengths May 14. The impressive Speightstown colt became the odds-on favorite in the six-furlong Bashford Manor (gr. III) July 2. But after racing in tight quarters and pressing the pace to mid-stretch, he weakened late to finish fourth.
This will be the first start since for Sum of the Parts, a $150,000 purchase at the Barretts Equine Limited March 2011 sale of 2-year-olds in training. Paco Lopez picks up the mount on the dark bay/brown colt, who starts from post 4.
Wayne, Gray, and Bryan Lyster's Black Rhino returns after a fourth-place effort in Saratoga's Sanford Stakes (gr. II) July 24, a race in which he finished 7 1/2 lengths behind the highly regarded Overdriven . A 2-year-old gelded son of El Corredor , Black Rhino dominated in his maiden-breaking score by eight lengths in his previous start on the grass at Churchill. Jeffrey Sanchez, who rode Black Rhino to a third-place finish in his debut at Churchill May 14, regains the mount.
Seven of this year's Sapling entrants are last-out maiden winners, and three of those won in their debuts at Monmouth at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Managed Account, also owned by Klaravich Stables and Lawrence, tallied by 5 1/2 lengths in his first try for trainer Teresa Pompay Aug. 13. Kona Stable's Scallion also was a first-out winner, prevailing by five lengths for Patrick Biancone. Trainer Todd Pletcher is represented by Space Traveler, a 3 3/4-length victor in his debut for Twin Creeks Racing Stable July 24.
Terry Raymond's Voodoo Daddy led gate-to-wire for Asmussen to win by 3 1/2 lengths at first asking over five furlongs Aug. 17 at Saratoga.
Other last-out maiden winners in the field are Jagati, who won a 12 3/4-length romp in the mud at Saratoga Aug. 8, High Heat, and Deliburnsky. Love Those Boots, a close second to Belmont's Futurity Stakes (gr. II) winner Jack's in the Deck in an optional claiming race on a wet fast surface at Delaware Park Aug. 20, completes the field.
$100,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 4:53 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Voodoo Daddy (KY), J R Leparoux, S M Asmussen
2. Jagati (KY), C J Lanerie, E Kenneally
3. Scallion (KY), C Hill, P L Biancone
4. Sum of the Parts (KY), P Lopez, T M Amoss
5. Managed Account (PA), K Carmouche, T M Pompay
6. Love Those Boots (PA), M Franklin, W R Bailes
7. High Heat (KY), J Rose, M J Trombetta
8. Deliburnsky (NJ), P L Cotto Jr., T Wilson
9. Black Rhino (KY), J Sanchez, W A Ward
10. She Digs Me (KY), E Trujillo, S M Asmussen
11. Space Traveler (KY), J Bravo, T A Pletcher
All carry 121 pounds.