08/27/2013 12:08PM

Saratoga: Base Case Scenario has right foundation for With Anticipation

Tom Keyser
Base Case Scenario (2) has the advantage of owning a win going two turns over Saratoga's Mellon turf course coming into the With Anticipation Stakes.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The With Anticipation Stakes has blossomed into a good barometer for future success as four of its last six winners have hit the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

With two solid efforts under his belt – including a win over the course – and good spacing between races, Base Case Scenario may rate a slight edge Thursday in a competitive renewal of the Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation at Saratoga.

Trainer Al Stall isn’t sure whether Base Case Scenario’s future will be on dirt or turf, but he likes the fact the With Anticipation is run at 1 1/16 miles around two turns over the Mellon turf course. Base Case Scenario won a maiden race under such conditions here on July 27, four weeks after running third in a dirt sprint at Churchill Downs that produced next-out winner Dunkin Bend.

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“As well as he’s breezed here on the main track he’ll certainly get another dirt try somewhere along the line,” Stall said. “But it’s just the timing. He’s a strong horse who needs miles.”

Base Case Scenario, a son of Pioneerof the Nile, overcame a slow pace to rally for a head victory here on July 27, a race that Stall felt moved his colt forward.

“He worked well on the turf before that race and ran a good race,” Stall said. “We feel like he clearly needed it, too. He was really blowing in the winner’s circle coming from one even sprint at Churchill. He’s had plenty of time and three works. I feel like he’s definitely going to go forward and he trains that way.”

River Dancer and Tiger Bourbon were both debut winners a week apart in July at Belmont Park going six furlongs, and have waited a long time to run back.

River Dancer, trained by David Cannizzo, won at odds of 30-1 despite getting away poorly and being carried out seven to eight wide in the stretch.

“I expected him to win,” Cannizzo said. “When he broke so slow I was worried they wouldn’t go fast enough. When he got out I didn’t know if he was going to get there, but at the eighth pole I knew he had them.”

Cannizzo said he is looking forward to stretching out River Dancer in distance, and expects him to outrun his 12-1 morning-line odds.

“He’s trained amazing,” Cannizzo said. “I’m pretty excited to run him. I can’t believe he’s 12-1.”

Tiger Bourbon won a six-furlong maiden race at Belmont on July 12, beating next-out winners General Jack and Bashart, both of whom are back in this spot.

“This is the first opportunity to run against winners, so we decided to wait for it,” trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “We get a chance to run him long and I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for this horse.”

After finishing second to Tiger Bourbon, General Jack shipped to Canterbury to win the $100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. Bashart, third to Tiger Bourbon, won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on Aug. 18.

“The experience of the six-furlong race was key,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Bashart. “He’s still taking it all in, kind of looking around a bit and still did that a little bit the other day, but was better.”

Pletcher also sends out We Miss Artie, who impressed his trainer more on turf than dirt.

Racetrack Romance and Marvin’s Miracle complete the field.

◗ Seven of the 10 runners from the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Steeplechase Stakes on Aug. 8 are among the nine entered in Thursday’s $75,000 Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes. Take Her Tothe Top, the 3 1/4-length winner of the Phipps, heads the field, which also includes The Gray Express and Well Fashioned. Cubist and Cat Feathers, the 1-2 finishers from last year’s Jeffords, are in this field as well in what is the last steeplechase race of the meet.