Walking L Thoroughbreds' Fighting Seabee was prominent throughout to capture Wednesday's Grade 3, $150,000 With Anticipation, a 1 1/16-mile inner turf route for juveniles at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Trained by Ken McPeek, the Summer Front bay was sharp out of the gate under Brian Hernandez, Jr. to lead the field of six through an opening split of 24.21 seconds on the firm turf under pressure from Fly Fly Away. Our Country, the 6-5 mutuel favorite, was away awkwardly under Manny Franco and headstrong through the first turn as Fighting Seabee and Fly Fly Away reached the half-mile in 50.50.
Field Pass, with Luis Saez up, advanced in the three-path through the final turn with Andesite following his cue, but Fighting Seabee continued to find more down the lane and kicked away to a one-length win in a final time of 1:43.34. Field Pass stayed on strong to complete the exacta with Andesite a further 1 ½-lengths back in third. Our Country, Fly Fly Away and Tuggle completed the order of finish.
Hernandez, Jr. said he benefited from being forwardly placed.
“We got lucky,” said Hernandez, Jr. “No one else really went and our horse put us in a nice spot going on the backside and from the second turn home, we were confident that he would go on and he did.
“I thought a couple of them would go but being on the inner turf like that and knowing our horse was having his second start, I just wanted to make sure that I was letting him get away from there,” he added. “I had the confidence in knowing that if I gave him a good trip around the first turn, he could take care of the rest for us and that's how it worked out today.
Fighting Seabee arrived at the With Anticipation from a two-length score in a one-mile turf maiden on July 6 at Ellis Park. McPeek said he has great confidence in Fighting Seabee, who he hopes will develop into a Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf contender.
“We've had our luck with our horses breaking their maidens at Ellis earlier in the season,” said McPeek. “Of course, this horse was ready before this meet started. He won down there going two-turns and we wanted to keep him at two turns. He's been a horse that's been really easy. We've been around enough young horses over the years that the good one's stand out. He's never been outworked in the mornings and up to now in the afternoon as well. It's a good position to be in and hopefully he takes us to the Breeders' Cup.”
Bred in Kentucky by Gestut Zur Kuste AG, Fighting Seabee banked $82,500 in victory while remaining undefeated in two starts. He paid $12.60 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes on Thursday with a 10-race card highlighted by the $100,000 P.G. Johnson. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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