08/29/2008 12:00AM

Wild Proof comes off memorable win


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Wild Proof turned in one of the most visually impressive wins by a 2-year-old at Monmouth Park this summer, romping by 12 3/4 lengths in his maiden victory in late June.

That success over the track stamps Wild Proof, a homebred colt for New Farm, as one of the top contenders Sunday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Sapling Stakes.

The Sapling, Monmouth's premier juvenile race, is the final graded stakes of the meet. The Sapling is supported by the $100,000 Sorority, the companion event for 2-year-old fillies. Both races are run at six furlongs.

Wild Proof debuted at Monmouth in mid-May, finishing third at 4 1/2 furlongs. Then came the win, at five furlongs.

"He had trained really well," trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said. "He ran okay in the first race, but the second was definitely better."

Following that decisive score, Perkins put Wild Proof on the shelf, waiting for the Sapling.

"We decided to point to the Sapling and see how he fits with a better class of horses," Perkins said. "We can judge from here."

Perkins resisted the lure of Saratoga and its extensive 2-year-old stakes program.

"That's a tough place to ship to, and we have not had great success shipping young horses up there." Perkins said. "Rather than change tracks, we thought it was better to give him a chance to develop in a friendlier environment."

Jose Lezcano, Monmouth's leading rider, has the return call.

Among the new faces at Monmouth in the Sapling, Valiancy will be tough following an easy maiden win at Saratoga for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard Valiancy and Smokin Bayou, also trained by Asmussen, in the Sorority.

Dueling Alex debuted with a win here before heading to Saratoga and a seventh-place finish in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special for trainer Cam Gambolati.

"I knew we were in trouble when he drew post 2," Gambolati said. "When the gate opened, he was trapped down inside forever. It was trap, trap, trap, steady, steady, steady all the way. He never could run.

"I'm chalking it up to a learning experience. He was green going into that race, and maybe he learned something. I hope so."

Completing the field are Officer Ipod, Saratoga Storm, Silent Valor and Rereadthefootnotes, a $5,000 supplemental entrant.

Breen has early, late punch

Trainer Kelly Breen has a two-pronged strategy for his entry in the Sorority: Boom Town Sally, donning blinkers, will be right on the pace, while Fools in Love makes a late run.

Boom Town Sally battled for every inch of an allowance race at Delaware Park last time out, missing by a neck as the even-money favorite.

Fools in Love won her Monmouth debut in early July and was a rallying third in the 5 1/2-furlong Colleen Stakes, the traditional Sorority prep.

"She ate a lot of dirt in that last race," Breen said. "She got running late. To be trapped down on the inside and finally get outside and to make a run at the end was encouraging. It looks like she can handle more distance. Hopefully, we don't have to be that far back."

Smokin Bayou drew off to a five-length win in the Colleen, her second straight victory.