On the heels of an eye-catching debut just three weeks ago, when he came from off the pace to win New York-bred maiden special weight at 1 1/16-mile on grass, Startup Nation absolutely dominated Thursday’s Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation at the same trip making a last-to-first move to win by open lengths.
A 2-year-old from the first crop of Temple City (Dynaformer), Startup Nation is trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stable and William H. Lawrence. He was reunited with his debut rider Joel Rosario for his Grade 2 bid and the pair went off, exiting post one, as the narrow second choice at 2.25-1.
For the first half-mile, Startup Nation was positioned last in the field of eight, seven lengths off the pace. The colt geared up rounding the far turn and, in upper stretch, simply blew past his rivals on his way to a 4 1/2-length victory. He followed across the line by fellow New York-bred International Star, runner up in the Rockville Center at Belmont on July 13, who closed from midpack to get the place. The final time for 1 1/16 miles over the firm turf course was 1:41.63.
The race came under stewards’ scrutiny after Rosie Napravnik, rider of International Star, claimed interference against Rosario, but there was no change in the final order of finish. [VIDEO]
Summing up the ride and the grounds of the claim, Rosario said, “I thought I had a lot of horse; I ran by [International Star] and tried to give him some room on the inside. I thought [International Star] came out a little bit, too. [Startup Nation] is the kind of horse, when he gets started, he keeps on going. After I made the move, he took off and improved position from there.”
Chad Brown focused on the end result. “I’m very impressed. The horse had run similarly in his debut, very impressive, with a big, wide move running away. But running back in just three weeks and now against open company, nevertheless a stakes race, you need to move forward. For this horse to run back in three weeks and run the way he did, in 1:41 and change, he’s a real runner.”
When asked whether he had the Breeders’ Cup in his sights for the talented colt, Brown said, “I haven’t been following the entire country to see what’s out there for juveniles on the turf; I’m sure some haven’t even run yet. But from what’s run already, I’d say these two horses that ran the last two days here are as good as I’ve seen out there. Time will tell, but I wouldn’t trade with anybody.”
Bred by Spendthrift Farm, who stands Temple City, Startup Nation is the second winner from two starters from his dam Pennyrile, a black type-placed Kentucky-bred daughter of Wagon Limit who is a half-sister to 2-year-old stakes-winning dirt router Dirty Rotten Shame. Startup Nation was purchased by Nick de Meric at Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale for $95,000. For his two victories he has earned $163,800.
Pennyrile currently has a yearling filly and weanling colt both by Spendthrift’s New York-based sire Dublin.