Blame the Booze looking for more ground in With Anticipation
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Mark D. Breen’s Blame the Booze will stretch out in distance and switch surfaces in today’s Grade 3, $100,000 With Anticipation, a 1 1/16-mile Mellon turf test for juveniles at Saratoga Race Course.
Always a race to look forward to, the With Anticipation has drawn a well-matched field of eight, including the Wesley Ward-trained Blame the Booze, who turned back much fancied stablemate King of Miami when graduating on debut in a six-furlong off-the-turf sprint on July 10 at Belmont Park.
“This guy is an overachiever,” said Ward. “I had the favorite in that maiden race and he probably worked with him 20 times at Keeneland and outworked him, but as soon we put them in the race, this horse rose to the occasion. The lightbulb went on after that and he’s really been working nice.”
Blame the Booze has breezed five times at Saratoga this summer – with the last four efforts on the Oklahoma training turf – including a bullet half-mile Friday morning in 48.88.
“He’s doing pretty good. He had a nice breeze today,” said Ward. “He worked in company with Epicurean [48.88], an unraced 2-year-old filly, and he did it well.”
A gelded son of Blame, out of the Discreet Cat mare Discreet Star, Ward said Blame the Booze shouldn’t stumble over the added distance.
“He’s done everything right training on the grass and usually slop transcends to grass,” said Ward. “I’m excited about this guy and distance shouldn’t be a problem with his breeding.”
Luis Saez has the call from the inside post.
Ward will be looking for his second stakes win of the Spa summer meet after capturing the Skidmore on August 21 with promising juvenile Golden Pal, who is pointed to the Grade 2, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint going 5 ½ furlongs on November 6 at Keeneland.
“He put it all together and he really showed what his future is going to be,” said Ward regarding Golden Pal. “He’s already in Kentucky and will go straight to the sprint. He’s 100 percent sprinter.”
A talented field of lightly-raced prospects for the With Anticipation includes first-out maiden winners American Monarch and Nathan Detroit.
America Monarch, a Mike G. Rutherford homebred son of American Pharoah, earned a field-best 72 Beyer Speed Figure in his August 8 debut at 1 1/16-miles on the Saratoga turf.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, American Monarch will be reunited with jockey Junior Alvarado from post 2.
Joseph Allen’s homebred Nathan Detroit, a Union Rags grey named for the Guys and Dolls character, earned a 59 Beyer for a game three-quarter length score traveling one mile over the Ellis Park turf on July 25.
Trained by Reeve McGaughey, son of Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Nathan Detroit will exit post 6 under Jose Lezcano.
Rounding out the field are Zippy Baby (post 3, Joel Rosario), Winfromwithin (post 4, Jose Ortiz) and Fire At Will (post 5, Irad Ortiz, Jr.).
The With Anticipation is slated as Race 9 on today’s 10-race card, which offers a first post of 12:45 p.m.