WITH ANTICIPATION STAKES | PURSE: $200,000 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 2 | 1 1/16 MILES (TURF)
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's New York-bred Startup Nation rolled to an impressive victory Aug. 28 in the $200,000 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, surviving and inquiry and claim of foul to earn his first graded stakes score.
The 2-year-old son of Temple City came off a solid maiden victory Aug. 7 at the Spa going the With Anticipation distance of 1 1/16 miles on the lawn, and improved his brief record for trainer Chad Brown to two wins in two starts.
Startup Nation, off at 2-1 odds, made a sweeping outside move under Joel Rosario after tracking from last in the field of eight for a half-mile, then drew off to a 4 ½-length victory in a final time of 1:41.63 on a firm Mellon Turf Course. According to Brown, his powerful performance put him in the running for a shot at the Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
Brown won the Aug. 27 P.G. Johnson Stakes, also on the lawn, with Klaravich and Lawrence's 2-year-old filly Partisan Politics.
"I haven't been following the entire country to see what's out there for juveniles on the turf; I'm sure some haven't even run yet," Brown said. "But from what's run already, I'd say these two horses that ran the last two days here are as good as I've seen out there. Time will tell, but I wouldn't trade with anybody."
Startup Nation became the first stakes winner for his sire, Temple City, who stands at at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.
It was 40-1 shot Kutuzov who raced to the early lead in the With Anticipation, but that one faded after setting an opening quarter mile in :22.91 seconds and getting the half in :47.27 seconds. Although Creaky Cricket took over after three-quarters in 1:11.66 with Designed for War and International Star both seemingly placed to factor, it was Startup Nation who ranged up and inhaled those rivals through a 1:35.59 mile, then increased his advantage to the line.
"I'm very impressed," Brown said. "The horse had run similarly in his debut, very impressive, with a big, wide move running away. But running back in just three weeks and now against open company, nevertheless a stakes race, you need to move forward. For this horse to run back in three weeks and run the way he did, in 1:41 and change, he's a real runner."
Rosie Napravnik, aboard International Star, registered a claim of foul against Rosario after winding up in tight quarters on the turn en route to a second-place finish. The run into the stretch also triggered a stewards' inquiry, but results were allowed to stand.
"I thought I had a lot of horse; I ran by [International Star] and tried to give him some room on the inside," Rosario said. "I thought [International Star] came out a little bit, too. [Startup Nation] is the kind of horse, when he gets started, he keeps on going. After I made the move, he took off and improved position from there."
With the victory, his third of the day, Brown moved closer to Todd Pletcher in the race for the 2014 Saratoga training title. Pletcher leads 23-22.
Carrying 120 pounds, Startup Nation returned $6.50, $3.80, and $3.10 as the second choice, while International Star paid $5.10 and $4. Nutty Futty, 2 ½ lengths behind the runner-up, paid $4.80. Slightly favored Strong Coffee, Designed for War, Hot Tin Roof, Creaky Cricket, and Kutuzov completed the order of finish. Blame Jim was entered for the main track only.
Bred by Spendthrift Farm out of the Wagon Limit mare Pennyrile, Startup Nation was a $95,000 purchase by Nick de Meric from the Paramount Sales consignment at 2013 Fasig-Tipton preferred New York-bred yearling sale.
The With Anticipation score improved the dark bay colt's earnings to $163,800.