HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch With Anticipation Stakes

2 Year Old Stakes Watch August 29th

Lexie LouIn this special edition of HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch, we’ll be covering the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, August 29th, 2013. Before we jump into the With Anticipation Stakes, let’s recap the action from yesterday’s 2 year old stakes watch. We had 4 races on Wednesday, starting with the P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga. Granny MC’s Kitten took the P. G. Johnson by by 1 3/4 lengths over Duff One giving Ken and Sarah Ramsey the new record for most wins at Saratoga. I would say the Ramsey’s are on a serious roll after doing the same at Churchill, Keeneland and Gulfstream this year! In the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar, Sunday Rules “ruled” over the rest of the field in an impressive 8 1/2 length win.  There were 2 two year old stakes races at Woodbine on Wednesday starting with the Muskoka Stakes. After a disqualification on On Rainbow Bridge for interference in the stretch, Lexie Lou won bringing in a hefty $36.20 for the win and $12.50 for the place. In the Simcoe Stakes, Go Greeley nosed out a win over Spin the King.

With Anticipation Stakes

General JackThe $200,000 Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes is the 10th race on the card at Saratoga Thursday, August 29th, 2013. The With anticipation is set at 1 1/16 mile over the turf. There are 11 entries in this race, but 3 are for the Main Track Only. We’ll discuss my selections for this race over the turf first since this is more than likely where the race will run, but should it get moved to the main track, we’ll discuss that set-up as well. The 5/2 morning line favorite is General Jack. General Jack is coming out of an easy 3 length win at Canterbury in the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. He is the only horse in this race with some stakes experience, so he certainly must be considered. What will make this race interesting is the match-up between General Jack and 2 other entries here that were all in General Jack’s first race at Belmont back in July. The General ran second in that straight maiden 70k and missed it by ½ a length.

Tiger BourbonTiger Bourbon is another contender here at morning line 3 to 1. This is the two year old that beat out General Jack in that first race, which coincidentally is Tiger Bourbon’s only race. It’s been a bit of a lay-off for him, but he certainly has a chance at a repeat performance in the With Anticipation. 3rd in that race at Belmont was Bashart. Bashart is at 4 to 1 morning line odds and followed that Belmont race with a ½ length victory in a straight maiden 85k at Saratoga on August 18th. He has a great jockey/trainer combo in jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Todd Pletcher.  Because he has picked up a win at 1 1/16 mile over the turf at Saratoga, I feel he has a slight advantage over General Jack and Tiger Bourbon.

Racetrack RomanceI have 2 here in mind for value plays, the first being We Miss Artie. Another Pletcher trained horse, We Miss Artie will have John Velazquez in the irons. Fresh from a win at Saratoga over the same turf and distance as the With Anticipation, We Miss Artie looks good for this race. His works look good and his times are on the same level as the 3 listed above. For a good longshot play, I like Racetrack Romance. He won his maiden race over the same distance and Saratoga turf that he’ll be running on Thursday. Although it was in a maiden claiming $65,000 where he was actually claimed from Ken and Sarah Ramsey, I feel that Racetrack Romance has a great shot of upsetting this field. At 15 to 1 morning line odds, he should be overlooked by the public and pay huge. He’s definitely worth factoring in to your exotic plays.

Should this race be moved from the turf onto the main track, you have to consider the 3 main track only horses. King Cyrus is coming out of a strong 11 length win in a straight maiden 80k at Saratoga. This colt is a stalker and could be deadly in this race, should he run. Even if he doesn’t, keep an eye out for him in future races! Free Mugatu and Howaboutwe could be dangerous if this race shifts to the main track, both coming off of maiden wins at Saratoga.  That’s it for now, but be sure and check back with HHR on Saturday and Sunday for more 2 year old stakes action!




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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