With Anticipation Stakes Preview

The Saratoga meet is drawing to a close, but there is still plenty to see and Thursday’s feature G3 2023 With Anticipation Stakes on the lawn is a fascinating juvenile contest, bringing together two course-and-distance winners – Carson’s Run and Get Spooled – and the promising Spirit Prince and Nomos.

Don’t miss out on the recap: 2023 With Anticipation Stakes: Gala Brand gains recognition

Breeders Cup Odds

With Anticipation Stakes

G3, $175,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 2yo, 4.34pm ET

It says a lot about the nature of the With Anticipation, the headline contest at Saratoga on Thursday, that with six previous winners on show, the morning-line favorite is a one-race maiden who wears blinkers for the first time. This race is wide open.

That one-race maiden is Spirit Prince (3-1), who leads a strong Christophe Clement entry and goes over the same course and distance as on debut, when he closed impressively after losing good early position to be runner-up, beaten a half-length by a subsequent stakes winner.

The blinkers will aid focus and the form stacks up, and stamina is plainly not an issue. That also goes for barnmate Carson’s Run (7-2), who went back-to-front to win on debut over course and distance, hand-ridden late and value for more than the official neck. It was a faster time than Spirit Prince’s race, on faster ground, and both horses can be expected to move up.

Bill Mott also puts two in the gate, although his first-string Gala Brand (7-2) is cross-entered at the Spa on Wednesday, with weather a concern. She is a different story, having come from a mile back on debut to post an easy score over five and a half furlongs at this track, which makes the extra three furlongs a puzzle.

Her barnmate Get Spooled (10-1) went gate-to-wire on debut over course and distance, allowed to dawdle along on the lead until quickening it up and finishing off strongly to score by three-quarters of a length. If he is going to lead this time he will need to go faster, but again proven stamina is a major positive.

Todd Pletcher has won this a record six times and sends Nomos (4-1), who got it right first time over a mile at Monmouth Park, sitting close to a slow pace before surging away to win by four lengths. The form may not amount to much but he is a guaranteed improver for a powerful owner-trainer combo.

Stakes experience comes from Market Street (8-1), although he has no turf experience. He was rolled flat when runner-up in the 2023 G2 Saratoga Special over six and a half furlongs, beaten nine and a half lengths after setting the early fractions, and the surface switch and extra yardage do not encourage confidence. 

British Sea (10-1) is the other maiden here and was beaten just a nose on debut over the Ellis Park mile, coming out second-best after a protracted duel. He, along with Colonial Downs third-try mile maiden winner Wine Collector (12-1), who could be a pace angle after going coast-to-coast there, has work to do on the available evidence.

2023 With Anticipation Stakes Odds

Prediction  There could be a major improvement from several of these and CARSON’S RUN, a debut winner over course and distance in a good time, fits the bill here.

Gala BrandJose L. Ortiz+350
Spirit PrinceFlavien Prat+300
Wine CollectorRicardo Santana, Jr.+1200
Market StreetJavier Castellano+800
Get SpooledJose Lezcano+1000
British SeaManuel Franco+1000
NomosIrad Ortiz, Jr.+400
Carson’s RunDylan Davis+350

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