Boppy O, the second longest shot in a field scratched down to seven, pulled off an upset in Wednesday’s $175,000 With Anticipation S. (G3), the signature grass event for two-year-olds at Saratoga.
Sent off at 23-1, Boppy O was never more than a length behind El Conejito, who set fractions of :24.93 and :50.09 over the good inner turf. Seizing control entering the far turn, Boppy O was challenged in upper stretch by 2-1 favorite Andthewinneris. After that rival hung late, Boppy O dug in and held off the belated rally of second choice Battle of Normandy by a neck.
Andthewinneris faded to third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Battle of Normandy, and was followed by Determinedly, Noble Huntsman, Our Dream Rye’d, and El Conejito.
Owned by John Oxley and Breeze Easy, Boppy O covered the course in 1:46.93 and paid $48.20. He was ridden by Dylan Davis and is trained by Mark Casse, who also won last year’s With Anticipation with Coinage.
The With Anticipation was the turf debut for Boppy O, who won at first asking by 1 1/2 lengths going five furlongs at Gulfstream Park’s main track May 20. He reappeared in the July 16 Sanford (G3) at Saratoga, but finished a well-beaten 10th of 12 in the six-furlong fixture.
“I thought he was a nice horse. I kept telling the Oxleys and (Breeze Easy’s) Mike Hall and Sam Ross [after the Sanford], “Look, he’s better than what you saw. I promise you, he’s better than that,'” Casse said.
Bred in Florida by Rustlewood Farm, Boppy O sold for $190,000 at Keeneland September. By first-crop sire Bolt d’Oro. Boppy O was reared by the Grade 3-placed Pappascat, by Scat Daddy. Boppy O is a half-brother to 2021 Best Pal (G2) winner Pappacap.
“My feeling is that Bolt d’Oro, a lot of them are going to be grass horses,” Casse said. “I thought [Boppy O] breezed good enough on the grass that he deserved a shot. I’m happy, but I’m not shocked.”