Debt Ceiling Can Rebound in Sapling Stakes


After disappointing in the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) as the favorite, Debt Ceiling attempts to rebound in the $100,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 1 at Monmouth Park.

Seven 2-year-old colts are entered in the six-furlong Sapling, which is the 11th race on the Sunday card at the New Jersey shore track. The program also features the $100,000 Sorority Stakes for juvenile fillies. The Sapling is scheduled for a 6:04 p.m. EDT post, while the Sorority, going as race 9, has a 5:01 p.m. expected post.

An overanxious Debt Ceiling stopped cold in the homestretch of the July 21 Sanford at Saratoga Race Course after steadying at the half-mile pole. He finishing last, eased home 36 lengths behind the victorious Wired Bryan. Hard to manage early in the race, in which he was sent off at 19-10 odds, Debt Ceiling forced jockey Eric Comacho to take strong hold. They rallied rounding the bend after steadying to reach contention before dropping back sharply.

The effort was completely unlike his prior race, a 2 3/4-length tally in the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) on a sloppy track June 29 at Churchill Downs. Debt Ceiling was 3-for-3 before the Sanford fiasco for trainer John Robb, who conditions the son of Discreet Cat   for owner Tim E. O'Donohue.

Robb took Debt Ceiling back to their home base at Laurel Park, where he has posted a pair of handy works since, including a five-furlong move in a bullet :59 flat Aug. 24, best of 22 at the distance.

Camacho, who has ridden Debt Ceiling in all his starts, retains the mount for the colt's Monmouth debut. They break from post 3 carrying the co-high weight assignment of 121 pounds.

Also coming out of the Sanford is Starlight Racing's All in Blue, who finished fourth after stumbling at the start. The gray/roan son of More Than Ready   won his only other start for trainer Todd Pletcher, a maiden special weight going five furlongs at Belmont Park by more than six lengths July 4. Joe Bravo has the call from the inside post.

The second stakes winner in the Sapling field is unbeaten Yes I'm Lucky, who captured Monmouth's five-furlong Tyro on the turf Aug. 4 by 1 3/4 lengths as the favorite. The Kentucky-bred son of Yes It's True   races for Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa and is trained by Eddie Plesa Jr.

Yes I'm Lucky, who began his career with a maiden win on dirt at Monmouth June 2, also captured the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes on the dirt at Calder Casino & Race Course June 22. The bay colt, also toting 121, breaks from gate 3 with Paco Lopez aboard.

Plesa also entered Hardway Stables' Run for Logistics, second in the Tyro. The son of Bernstein won his debut July 7 on the Monmouth main track by 5 1/2 lengths.

Trainer Steve Asmussen is represented by Michael Langford's Dunkin Bend, a son of Dunkirk   who broke his maiden by 5 3/4 lengths in front-running style at Saratoga Aug. 3 in his second start. Trainer Dale Romans has Cee 'n O, a Silver Train   offspring who graduated in his debut by 4 1/2 lengths at Ellis Park the same day.

Foileen, a supplemental entrant off a maiden claiming victory Aug. 9 for trainer Derek Ryan, completes the field.

Unbeaten Flay Mignon, winner of Monmouth's Colleen Stakes on grass for the Plesas, is the 121-pound highwieght among nine 2-year-old fillies in the six-furlong Sorority.

$100,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III, Race 11, 6:04 p.m.), 2YOs, 6 Furlongs

PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer

1. All in Blue (KY), J Bravo, 117, T A Pletcher

2. Debt Ceiling (KY), E Camacho, 121, J J Robb

3. Yes I'm Lucky (KY), P Lopez, 121, E Plesa Jr.

4. Foileen (FL), A Serpa, 115, D S Ryan

5. Dunkin Bend (KY), R Santana Jr., 117, S M Asmussen

6. Run for Logistics (KY), G Saez, 117, E Plesa Jr.

7. Cee 'n O (KY), E Trujillo, 117, D L Romans