08/18/2001 12:00AM

Pure Precision takes Sapling


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Pure Precision completed a sweep of Monmouth's 2-year-old stakes for males Saturday. The George Steinbrenner-owned colt captured the Grade 3 $150,000 Sapling, the premier race for juvenile colts here, by 1 1/4 lengths over even-money favorite Truman's Raider in front of a crowd of 13,047.

Pure Precision ($11.20), ridden by Eibar Coa for the first time, broke a bit slowly out of post 2, which was the inside post after the scratch of Outstander. But he soon raced to the lead, and dueled the entire way around the track with the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Truman's Raider, who broke right outside of the winner. The two fired off fractions of 21.64, 44.95, and 57.47 seconds, and turning for home Pure Precision began to pull away. He maintained the lead through the stretch, and Truman's Raider held on by a neck for second over Wild Navigator.

Rounding out the field was Capture the Silver, Juggernaut, Vinemeister, Doc Wild and Lil Badger.

"We weren't planning on going to the lead, but Eibar said he stumbled leaving the gate and when he picked him up her just ran on," said winning trainer John Tammaro III. "I think there's a good chance he can stretch out, but you never know until you try."

Pure Precision won the $50,000 Tyro Stakes, the Sapling prep, in his first race at Monmouth. Pure Precision had been stabled with Manny Tortora in Calder for two races, including a 10 3/4-length maiden win and a second in the Criterium Stakes.

He was shipped to Monmouth by Steinbrenner, and the strategy has worked perfectly. In winning the Sapling, he avenged his only career loss, the runner-up finish to Juggernaut in the Criterium.

Pure Precision, a son of Montbrook, came into the race in top form, as he fired a bullet 59.40 five-furlong workout over a deep track August 11.