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Breeders Cup 2015

General Jack 5-2 in With Anticipation

Saratoga 2013 logo.
Tiger Bourbon, General Jack and Bashart all debuted in a six-furlong maiden race on the turf July 12 at Belmont Park that turned out to be a sneak preview of some of the most promising young grass runners in New York.

On Thursday, the three will hook up again in a far more consequential event, the Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds over the Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course.

The race drew a field of eight with three other runners entered main track only.

In the maiden race at Belmont Park, Tiger Bourbon, owned by Bourbon Lane Stable, broke sharply in second and set up behind a long shot leader through the opening quarter mile, racing just outside of Bashart with General Jack tracking in fourth.

On the turn, General Jack went four wide and confronted his main rivals as the pacesetter faded. Tiger Bourbon, despite racing between runners, pulled away to win by a half length. General Jack finished second and Bashart third.

Since then, General Jack, trained by Michael Maker and the 5-2 morning-line favorite, easily won the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes by three lengths at Canterbury Park, and Bashart scored in a maiden grass race at the With Anticipation distance August 18 at the Spa.

Tiger Bourbon, 3-1 on the morning line, has waited for the With Anticipation and trained impressively over the Saratoga main track for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

“He’s doing really good, obviously,” said Kenneally’s assistant, George Scott. “We’re still learning about him, having only run him once. We’re delighted by the way he’s trained, and he’s certainly a tough horse, so we’ve waited for the race. We had opportunities to run him on the dirt, but in the future, if we’re aiming for bigger and better things, it’s going to be on the turf.”

Bashart, a son of War Front who is 4-1 on the morning line, will be part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also will send out We Miss Artie, 6-1, a three-length winner in his first try on grass August 11 at the Spa.

“We thought he’d trained pretty well on the dirt and didn’t run badly first time on the dirt,” Pletcher said of We Miss Artie, a son of Artie Schiller. “Given the strength of his pedigree for the turf, we breezed him on the turf and were pretty satisfied with that. Hopefully, he can continue to move forward. I think it helps he’s had a race over the track.”

Third-time starter Base Case Scenario, 5-1, could prove a strong threat for trainer Al Stall, Jr. The son of freshman sire Pioneerof the Nile won a 1 1/16-mile turf race on July 27 at the Spa. On Saturday, the third-place finisher from that race, Bobby’s Kitten, turned in an eye-catching performance to break his maiden by 2 ¾ lengths for trainer Chad Brown.

“Chad’s horse obviously took a major step forward; hopefully, our horse is capable of doing the same thing,” Stall said. “We’re happy with his progress since his first race at Saratoga.”

Stall debuted Base Case Scenario in a dirt sprint at Churchill Downs in which Candy Dandy and Dunkin Bend, two of the faster 2-year-olds in the country, finished first and second. Base Case Scenario was third and Stall switched him to turf for his next start, mostly just to get two-turn experience in the colt.

He wound up winning, and so the With Anticipation became the next stop.

“It was not the first inclination,” Stall said of running on turf. “In fact, I look forward to the day we can run him two turns on the dirt.”

River Dancer, 12-1, Marvin’s Miracle, 12-1, and Racetrack Romance, 15-1, complete the field. King Cyrus, Free Mugatu and Howaboutwe are entered and will run only if the race comes off the turf.


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