Brave Dave overcomes stumble to win Sapling

Jockey Paco LopezBrave Dave overcame a poor start to score a wire-to-wire win in Sunday’s Grade 3, $101,000 Sapling Stakes for 2-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

Sent off as the 7-5 favorite after flashing high speed and fading late in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga, Brave Dave ($5.40) stumbled badly when the starting gate opened, bumping Coach A.J., but recovered and was quickly sent to the front by jockey Paco Lopez.

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“He took a really bad stumble out of the gate, but I know this horse and how fast he is,” Lopez said. “He rebounded pretty quickly and was in front quickly.”

Brave Dave set fractions of 21.66 and 44.84 seconds and continued on to score by three-quarters of a length over Special Jo. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Drum Roll, the 9-5 second choice.

Brave Dave, a son of Put It Back owned by David Melin and Laura Plesa, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.44 for his second win in three starts.

“My main concern was that he would grab himself but he seems to be all right,” said trainer Eddie Plesa regarding Brave Dave’s bad start. “He’s blessed with a lot of speed and now we’ll have to see how far he’ll go.”

Doubled connects at 15-1 in Sorority

Doubled, returning to the main track after a one-race experiment on turf, made up a three-length deficit in the final furlong to upset the $100,000 Sorority for 2-year-old fillies.

Third in the five-furlong Colleen on the grass in her first race against winners, Doubled ($32.80) rallied along the inside under Angel Arroyo to score by 1 ¾ lengths over 1-5 favorite I’mclassyandsassy. Back to Class, a 42-1 outsider, set the pace and was two lengths in front with a furlong remaining before fading to third, ¾ of a length behind runner-up I’mclassyandsassy.

“I just sat on the rail most of the way,” Arroyo said. “ There was plenty of room for her around the turn so I just went with her. The instructions were to just sit and come with one run and that’s what I did. She finished up real strong.”

Based at Parx with trainer Cathal Lynch, Doubled ran the six furlongs in 1:11.88. She won her maiden by a nose at Parx on July 24. A daughter of Exchange Rate, Doubled is owned by Nancy Shuford.