08/27/2007 11:00PM

Juvenile turf sprinters grab spotlight


LAS VEGAS - The With Anticipation Stakes for 2-year-old colts will be run for the third time in its short history Thursday at Saratoga, but it takes on added significance this year because of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, one of three new Breeders' Cup races that will be run this year.

More 2-year-old maiden races are run on turf than ever before, but stakes races for juveniles on grass are still rare. The initial running of the BC Juvenile Turf may have many 2-year-olds who are only maiden winners on grass. If that scenario plays out, Europeans might find the race too irresistible to pass.

While it lacks recent maiden winner Prussian, who was dazzling on the turf in his career debut for trainer Bill Mott, the With Anticipation might yield some runners for the BC Juvenile Turf. Below is a brief pedigree analysis of most of the runners nominated for the race.

Abierto La Puerta: By Langfuhr (Danzig), he is out of a mare by grass champion Cozzene, and his second dam is a half-sister to multiple grass stakes winner Chorwon, by the great turf influence Silver Hawk. Noteworthy is his third dam, Nomo Robbery, who is a double RF (Rasmussen Factor), as she is inbred to two superior females – La Troienne and Iron Reward, the dam of Swaps.

Always a Believer: His sire, Malibu Moon, is not a turf sire per se, but he does get winners on turf. More important is the high class of this female family. His second dam is a half-sister to Hot Novel (the dam of Behrens) and True Grit (the dam of Cogburn and the unraced Outsource, who produced Commentator).

Atoned: Winner of the Continental Mile, he is from the first crop of stakes winner and BC Juvenile runner-up Repent. With the Northern Dancer male line on top, I tabbed Repent as one of this year's HT (hidden turf) freshmen sires.

Carry the Day: Any runner by Canadian grass champion and Horse of the Year With Approval (Caro) is destined for turf. In addition, his second dam is a half-sister to El Senor.

High Appeal: Winner of the Chenery Stakes at Colonial Downs, he is by speed influence Songandaprayer (Unbridled's Song) and gets a load of turf breeding from the males in his dam's family. His dam is by Sadler's Wells, and his second dam is by Posse (not the current leading freshman sire, but the Phipps-bred, Group 1-winning European by the same name who is by Forli).

Il Girasole: Pedigree-wise, he has all the tools to be a major player on turf. By the successful HT sire Lemon Drop Kid, his second dam is a half-sister to juvenile champion Chief's Crown, and his fourth dam is champion Chris Evert.

Nownownow: He is from the first crop of Futurity Stakes winner Whywhywhy. He should be a natural on turf because: (1) he is by HT sire Mr. Greeley, a son of HT sire Gone West; (2) his damsire is Group 1 winner Exit to Nowehere (Irish River); and (3) his third dam is a half-sister to successful turf influence Lypheor.

Old Man Buck: He is from the first crop of Group 1 winner Hold That Tiger (Storm Cat), who ran third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Ovechkin: By freshman sire Changeintheweather (Gone West) and out of a mare by Seattle Dancer (Nijinsky II), he has an HT2 pedigree (grass from his sire and damsire). His third dam, the stakes winner Celestial Lights, is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and turf influence Majestic Light.

Preaching Man: By Songandaprayer, his second dam is a half-sister to a number of quality racehorses, including Bestofbothworlds, Cajetano, Intensive Command, and Song of Africa.

Pulla Fast One: More Than Ready is a dual threat, getting quality stakes winners on dirt and turf. His second dam, Ampulla, won major turf races, including the La Prevoyante and Long Island handicaps.

Rebounded: As a son of Danzig, Boundary gets winners on turf as well as dirt, and they are characterized by speed. Rebounded's dam is by strong grass influence Royal Academy. His stakes-placed second dam, Rejoyced, is a half-sister to turf stakes winners Miss Josh, Highland Springs, and Highland Crystal.

Run Jickster Run: Third in the Chenery Stakes, he is by major grass-stakes winner Wild Event.

Snoose Goose: From the second crop of Aptitude, who gets many winners on turf, he is out of a mare by grass sire Elmaamul (Diesis). His fourth dam, Hartebeest, was a multiple group winner in France.

Wynn in Command: Trained by Tim Ritchey, he is closely related to another Ritchey colt, champion Afleet Alex. Both are by Northern Afleet. Afleet Alex is out of Maggie Hawk (Silver Hawk), while this colt is out of Maggie Hawk's daughter Jolie Hawk (Mister Jolie).

Z Humor: Winner of his only start, he is by the versatile stallion Distorted Humor. He also is out of an A.P. Indy mare, and his second dam is a multiple stakes-winning sprinter, Chip.