Double Thunder Rallies Late To Take Sapling At Monmouth

In a field of 2-year-olds going a mile for the first time, favorite Double Thunder grabbed his third win in four starts with a late rally to win the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Super Saver colt had to go three-wide on the far turn to find running room, giving Monmouth’s leading jockey Paco Lopez another win at the track’s summer meet.

Breaking from post one, Lopez took Double Thunder back early, sitting fifth on the rail behind leaders Under the Gun and Midnight Worker. After fractions of :23.87 for the first quarter and :47.54 for the half mile, Double Thunder was boxed in on the rail and shuffled back to sixth entering the far turn as Midnight Worker caught Under the Gun and moved to the lead, Chancellor Bay tracking him.

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On the turn, Lopez moved his colt to the outside, going three-wide to find racing room as the field entered the stretch. Into the Monmouth straight, Chancellor Bay took over the lead from Midnight Worker as both American Sanctuary and Double Thunder rallied to his outside, both catching Chancellor Bay in the last sixteenth of a mile. Double Thunder was fastest to the wire, sprinting by American Sanctuary to win the Sapling by a half-length.

The race’s final time for the mile over a fast track was 1:38.76. Find this race’s chart here.

Double Thunder paid $4.20, $2.60, and $2.40. American Sanctuary paid $4.80 and $3.40. Midnight Worker paid $3.60.

“In the mornings it took him a little while to figure things out but his gate works showed he was probably going to be okay. I don’t think there was any concern about going two turns for the first time. If you look at all of his races it seems like he breaks a little slow, a step slow, but he always seems to come running. So I didn’t think that would be an issue. We were actually waiting for him to go longer. I’m pleased with the way he ran. He took dirt, he got in trouble by coming in and going out, so it wasn’t the best of trips and he still won,” Anthony Sciametta, assistant to Todd Pletcher, said after the Sapling.

“It was a tough trip for sure. They didn’t make it easy for him. The horse broke well today. I was surprised he broke that well – maybe because he was on the rail. I don’t know. I didn’t want him that close early so I tried to get him to settle but it was a very rough trip,” Paco Lopez told the Monmouth Press Office after the race. “For a while a had nowhere to go. (American Sanctuary) had me pinned in. Finally, he made his move at the eighth pole and I was able to get some room to get my horse running. I think (American Sanctuary) moved a little too early, which was good for me. I had nowhere to go for a while. I was waiting on that horse and he finally went and that helped me.”

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and out of the Tapit mare Rattataptap, Double Thunder is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred III. He was purchased by agent Gerard Butler from Taylor Made Sales Agency for $60,000 at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase.

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