Overshadowed by the fact the fifth race on Aug. 8 at Saratoga was run at the wrong distance was the performance in that race by Somelikeithotbrown, who won by eight lengths.
The maiden race was scheduled for 1 1/16 miles, but was run at 1 1/8 miles due to an incorrect placement of the starting gate.
Wednesday, Somelikeithotbrown will cut back in distance when he heads a field of eight 2-year-olds entered to run 1 1/16 miles on turf in the Grade 3, $150,000 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga. Last year, the With Anticipation was won by Catholic Boy, who returned to Saratoga to win last Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes on dirt.
The With Anticipation is named for the five-time Grade 1 winner and $2.6 million earner who was euthanized last month at the age of 23 due to complications from old age, according to his former trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
Somelikeithotbrown made a wide, sweeping move in his maiden victory, taking control before the top of the stretch and drawing clear in the lane while several of those behind him were eased, perhaps owing to the fact they weren’t ready to run 1 1/8 miles.
Somelikeithotbrown was making his second start, after finishing seventh in a July 23 maiden race that had been scheduled for turf, but was run on the dirt. He finished seventh that day.
“He’s a colt we’ve always been high on. It rained off the first time, but we were going to give him a race,” trainer Mike Maker said. “He’s a big, heavy horse who had a lot of works but needed the benefit of a race. I think he’s got a big shot.”
Maker also entered Henley’s Joy, but was not sure whether he would run here or wait for a race at Kentucky Downs.
Though Jose Ortiz rode Somelikeithotbrown in his first two starts, he is riding Joyful Heart in the With Anticipation. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Somelikeithotbrown.
Joyful Heart, a son of Kitten’s Joy, sprinted on turf in his first two starts, finishing second June 17 and winning by 2 1/4 lengths on July 8. Joyful Heart is out of the dam Blue Heart, who won multiple stakes on synthetic around two turns.
“Hopefully, if he’s able to dictate the terms, I can see him getting two turns,” trainer Brian Lynch said. “If something gets in a speed duel with him then it might be a head-banger.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher has won the With Anticipation five times. He sends out the maiden winner Seanow and the maiden Opry. A maiden has won five of the first 13 runnings of this race, including Azar for Pletcher in 2015.
Opry was entered for the turf on Aug. 11, but the race came off and he finished third, beaten a half-length, when the race was run at seven furlongs on the dirt.
“He ran a very respectable race,” Pletcher said. “Feel like he’s a little better on the grass. We won the race in the past with a maiden, felt like he’s of that caliber, so we thought we’d give it a try. He trains like he should improve going two turns.”
Trainer Phil Gleaves sends out the uncoupled entry of Yes and Yes and Swamprat. Gunslinger, a maiden making his first start in the United States completes the field on turf.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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