Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Balance the Books left from the far outside post and quickly dropped toward the back of the pack as Joha led the field of 2-year-olds through fractions of 23.60, 47.71 and 1:12.08 over a turf course rated “firm.” After bumping with Hightail as he swept six-wide on the turn, Balance the Books powered straight down the middle of the course and hit the wire a head in front of the pacesetter.
“He relaxed and made one run and galloped out,” said Leparoux of Balance the Books, the 4-1 third choice behind Joha and favored Charming Kitten, who finished third. “Ramon [Dominguez, aboard Joha] obviously got a little jump on us, but I knew I could get him, and [Balance the Books] ran great today.”
The With Anticipation was the first win for Balance the Books, a son of Lemon Drop Kid who was second in his August 4 debut for owners William H. Lawrence and Klaravich Stables. On the also-eligible list for the stakes, Balance the Books drew in to the race on Thursday morning after several horses were scratched.
“He really trained well up here at Saratoga for his debut, and we loved him the first day we ran him,” said trainer Chad Brown of Balance the Books, who fetched $160,000 in April at the Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale. “Of course, when you run a maiden in a graded stakes, you’re not overly confident, but when we got the call that we drew in this morning, we talked on the phone and it wasn’t much of a discussion. We were running.”
Balance the Books returned $10.80 for a $2 win bet and earned $120,000 for the victory.
Brown said the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita Park on November 3 would be a likely target for Balance the Books.
“I think that’s the plan,” said Brown, a native of nearby Mechanicville, N.Y. “He’ll have one prep before then; I’m not sure [where]. We’ll probably take a look at the Pilgrim [Grade 3, October 7, Belmont Park] or the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland [Grade 1, October 6]. The three of us will sit down and make a decision.”
Completing the order of finish behind Charming Kitten were Notacatbutallama, He’s So Fine, Hightail, Almost an Angel, Craving Carats, and Bernie the Jet. Private Tutor, Sonofasamurai, Special Skills, and The B’s and E’s were scratched along with Main Track Only entrants Lawn Man, Read the Proposal, and Sweet Shirley Mae.