Bluegrass Hall’s 2-year-old homebred colt Optimizer became ENGLISH CHANNEL’s second black-type performer in yesterday’s G3 With Anticipation S. at Saratoga, following on the heels of Channel Quest’s second-place run in the Continental Mile S. at Monmouth Park. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Optimizer opened his account with a good-looking rallying victory going two turns on debut at the Spa Aug. 6.
Making the big step up into graded company in the With Anticipation, Optimizer broke from post nine and raced widest of all into the first turn. Still three or four wide up the backstretch, he tracked the slow pace of State of Play–who was allowed three quarters in a dawdling 1:14.64–but came on strongly to reach the throatlatch of the leader at the furlong grounds. It was those two drawing clear to the wire, with Optimizer settling for second, beaten a half-length. ENGLISH CHANNEL is the sixth-ranked Kentucky sire on the leading freshman stallion list.