weeks after debuting with a professional maiden victory, Startup Nation returned to Saratoga Race Course with an even more impressive encore.
Photo: adam mooshian, NYRA
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
Nation survived both an inquiry and objection by International Star
jockey Rosie Napravnik for possible interference at the head of the
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."
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.
who has finished as runner-up to Pletcher the past three summers,
trailed, 23-22, with one more starter on Thursday's card.
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."