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Startup Nation Cruises in With Anticipation

Startup Nation wins 2014 With Anticipation.
Photo: adam mooshian, NYRA
Three weeks after debuting with a professional maiden victory, Startup Nation returned to Saratoga Race Course with an even more impressive encore.


Making just his second start and first in open company, the 2-year-old New York-bred colt rallied from last to first with a powerful move around the far turn and cruised to a 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation on Thursday.


Trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stable and William H. Lawrence, Startup Nation ran 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf course in 1:41.63, returning $6.50 for a $2 win bet as the 2-1 second choice in a field of eight juveniles.


International Star was second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Nutty Futty. Narrow favorite Strong Coffee, Designed for War, Hot Tin Roof, Creaky Cricket and Kutuzov completed the order of finish.


"I'm very impressed," winning trainer Chad 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 in 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."


Settled at the back of the pack under jockey Joel Rosario, Startup Nation saved ground in the early stages before moving outside for the backstretch run behind a pace of 22.91 seconds for the quarter-mile and 47.27 for the half set by 40-1 long shot Kutuzov.


Creaky Cricket inherited the lead as Kutuzov began to fade, taking the field through six furlongs in 1:11.66. Rosario and Startup Nation began to roll passing the three-eighths pole and made a bold, four-wide sweeping move to seize control entering the stretch, drawing away convincingly.


Startup Nation survived both an inquiry and objection by International Star jockey Rosie Napravnik for possible interference at the head of the stretch.


"I thought I had a lot of horse," Rosario said. "I ran by [International Star] and tried to give him some room on the inside. 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."


The victory was the third of the afternoon for Brown, a native of nearby Mechanicville, N.Y., who is chasing 10-time champion Todd Pletcher for the Saratoga training title.


Brown, who has finished as runner-up to Pletcher the past three summers, trailed, 23-22, with one more starter on Thursday's card.


"We're just going to go race by race and put them in the right spots," Brown said. "I thought I had good chances today going in. All the horses are in the right spots and they're all doing well. We have one more to go [today], so we'll just stick to our plan here and see what happens."


Source: NYRA


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