09/04/2010 5:51PM

Madman Diaries shows he's just as effective on dirt as synthetics

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Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Madman Diaries, ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, wins his dirt debut in the Sapling at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - A determined Madman Diaries held off Vengeful Wildcat and Chipshot to win the Grade 3, $153,000 Sapling Stakes for 2-year-olds on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Jeffrey Sanchez was aboard for breeder, trainer, and co-owner Wesley Ward as Madman Diaries made a successful transition to dirt following four races on synthetics. After getting second in his debut at Keeneland, Madman Diaries ran three times at Woodbine, where he captured the Victoria Stakes.

The way he trained on the dirt at Saratoga convinced Ward that Madman Diaries would make the transition. So did his breeding.
“If you look into his pedigree, his mother’s mother was Meafara, probably the fastest filly or mare sprinter ever,” Ward said. “She was beaten twice in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and that’s what made me want to run him on it.”

Ward considered the Grade 1 Hopeful at seven furlongs at Saratoga on Monday before settling on the six-furlong Sapling. Jockey Alex Solis tried his hardest to tip the decision the other way.

“Solis was begging me to run in the Hopeful,” Ward said. “The only question I had was the distance. I think seven furlongs was as little bit out of reach going into today’s race. Coming out, maybe Alex was right.”

Madman Diaries improved to 3-2-0 in 5 starts after working hard to secure the latest win.

Breaking from the rail, Madman Diaries set the pace with Vengeful Wildcat, having recovered quickly from a stumble at the start, following closely in second. Madman Diaries drifted off the rail in the stretch as Vengeful Wildcat continued applying pressure to his outside while Chipshot launched a bid to his left.

Battling between rivals, Madman Diaries prevailed by a half-length over Vengeful Wildcat with Chipshot a neck back in third.

The time was 1:11.64 on the fast track before a crowd of 13,469. Madman Diaries paid $13.60 to win.

Maybesomaybenot was fourth followed by Nacho Saint, J.J.’s Lucky Train, Printing Press, and Another Silver Oak.

* Grecian Maiden beat Profiteroles by a nose in the $97,500 Twin Lights Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.
Julian Pimentel rode for trainer Mike Trombetta as Grecian Maiden ($21.40) covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.38 over the firm course.

* Jose Valdivia Jr. (knee injury), Chris DeCarlo (kidney stones), and Angel Serpa (concussion) scratched off their mounts on the Saturday card.