Trainer Todd Pletcher has won five of the past nine editions of the $150,000 With Anticipation (G3), and will take two shots at the 1 1/16-mile grass stakes for two-year-olds as the final week of Saratoga kicks off Wednesday.
The Pletcher-trained duo are Earth, who won on debut going five furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream Park before finishing a distant third in the $55,000 Tyro at Monmouth Park as an odds-on favorite, and Seabhac, a closing second to returning rival Trumpi in an August 5 maiden over the course and distance.
“We ran Earth over at Monmouth and he seemed to struggle; he lost his action a little on the turn when the turf seemed to slip away from him, but he came back with a good work here and we think the stretch out should help him,” Pletcher said.
“We’ve been pretty high on him all summer,” said Pletcher in regards to Seabhac. “We thought he ran well in his debut and just missed, so we wanted to take a shot in a stakes.”
Trumpi led all the way to register a 22-1 upset in the aforementioned maiden for Bill Mott, who also has Irish Territory, a non-threatening seventh in the same race when mildly more supported in the market at 13-1, also entered in the With Anticipation.
Machtree, a debut winner for Mark Casse on August 12, is one of several other last-out maiden winners that could contend. New York-bred graduate Evaluator, Gulfstream shipper Catholic Boy, and Untamed Domain, a son of Animal Kingdom, are others.
Nauti Boy, who shocked at 29-1 in his turf sprint debut at Laurel July 2, looks to rebound from a last-place showing the in the Sanford (G3) on opening day of the meet.