Strike the Tiger, who had an historic victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes in Great Britain this year, and Two Notch Road, who broke his maiden in winning the Continental Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park in his turf debut, head a full field of 2-year-olds entered in the Sept. 4, $100,000-added With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga.
At 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon turf course, the With Anticipation has been scheduled as the third race on the card. The race drew 13 entries, including two entered for the main track only should the race not be run over the grass course.
After Strike the Tiger started in a $30,000-maiden claiming race where he battled for the lead, then sprinted away for a 3 3/4-length victory over a sloppy Churchill Downs track, trainer Wesley Ward gave him a test in class that became a historical event when Strike the Tiger went to England and won the Windsor Castle Stakes, becoming the first American-based horse to win at Royal Ascot.
Upon his return to the United States, Strike the Tiger proved his speed and class again in the Chenery Stakes at Colonial Down, going wire-to-wire and drawing off by 3 1/4 lengths on July 25.
Owned and trained by Glenn Thompson, Two Notch Road stalked the pace set by Mississippi Hippie before winning the Continental Mile by a quarter of a length in his fourth career start. The gelded son of Partner's Hero has earnings of $37,140. Shannon Uske, who was aboard in the Monmouth Park stakes, has the mount again.
Mississippi Hippie, the Continental Mile runner-up as the 8-5 favorite, is one of two horses trained by Wesley Ward entered in the With Anticipation. Also owned by Ward, Mississippi Hippie broke his maiden in his grass debut and second career start. He will be ridden by John Velazquez. Ward is also owner and trainer of Quick Money, a first-time starter entered in the With Anticipation, also with Velazquez named as the rider.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has three runners entered: Zapster, Interactif, and Aikenite. The last-named is on the also eligible list.
With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIIT), 1 1/16 miles, turf, $100,000-added, 2-year-olds
Post position—horse, jockey, trainer, weight
1 (a)—Mississippi Hippie, J. Velazquez, Wesley Ward, 118
2—Paddy O’Prado, R. Albarado, Dale Romans, 116
3—Two Notch Road, S. Uske, Glenn Thompson, 120
4 (b)—Zapster, E. Prado, Todd Pletcher, 116
5—Red Rally, J. Castanon, Merrill Scherer, 118
6—Dean’s Kitten, J. Leparoux, Michael Maker, 118
7—Jung Man Scott, R. Dominguez, Richard Dutrow, Jr., 118
8—Interactif, K. Desormeaux, Todd Pletcher, 118
9 (b)—Golly Day, J. Castellano, George Weaver, 118
10 (a)—Strike the Tiger, J. Velazquez, Wesley Ward, 120
11 (AE)—Quick Money, A. Garcia, Linda Rice, 116
12 (b)-- MTO—Aikenite, no rider named, Todd Pletcher, 118
13—MTO—Turf Melody, J. Rose, H. Motion, 118
MTO—Main Track Only