Fighting Seabee Wires With Anticipation Stake
Thursday, August 29, 2019

With a frontrunning trip in the $150,000 With Anticipation Stakes (G3T) Aug. 28, Fighting Seabee was able to avoid trouble farther back in the field and lead every step of the 1 1/16-mile turf feature for 2-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course. The bay colt is the first black-type winner for Airdrie Farm's freshman stallion  Summer Front .

"We were thinking that there was going to be a little pace in the race," winning trainer Ken McPeek said. "When there wasn't, it looked like (jockey) Brian (Hernandez Jr.) took advantage of that. The horse took him there. He took him right to the front, and this colt is fast. He's smart as a whip, and he made both my job and Brian's easy today."

Walking L Thoroughbreds' Fighting Seabee broke on top as the favored Our Country stumbled. After breaking last, Our Country became rank and squeezed through on the inside, pushing out Tuggle before settling in fourth. Fighting Seabee remained unbothered up front, setting opening fractions of :24.21, :50.50, and 1:14.97.

The pacesetter was still in command turning for home. Field Pass came from off the pace to make a move but was second-best, one length behind Fighting Seabee, who was 5-1. The final time was 1:43.34 on a firm course.

"I thought a couple of them would go, but being on the inner turf like that and knowing our horse was having his second start, I just wanted to make sure that I was letting him get away from there," Hernandez said. "I had the confidence in knowing that if I gave him a good trip around the first turn, he could take care of the rest for us, and that's how it worked out today.

"The finish was good. Going into the second turn, I let him out and he picked it up just to where we were able to get moving, and he was able to hold all of those other horses off. He crossed the wire with his ears up, so you got to be confident about that."

Behind Field Pass, Andesite, Our Country, Fly Fly Away, and Tuggle completed the order of finish.

Bred in Kentucky by Gestut Zur Kuste AG, Fighting Seabee is the only foal out of the Broken Vow 

mare Broke N Dixie.

McPeek was the buying agent for Walking L Thoroughbreds in 2018 when Fighting Seabee was purchased for $105,000 from Runnymede Farm's consignment to The July Sale, Fasig-Tipton's select yearling sale in Kentucky.

Fighting Seabee was a debut winner July 6 at Ellis Park, drawing clear from fourth in a one-mile maiden special weight on turf. The With Anticipation makes him 2-for-2 with $112,500 in earnings.

"We've had our luck with our horses breaking their maidens at Ellis earlier in the season," McPeek said. "Of course, this horse was ready before this meet started. He won down there going two turns, and we wanted to keep him at two turns. He's been a horse that's been really easy."

Fighting Seabee now has McPeek considering the Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) at Santa Anita Park.

"We've been around enough young horses over the years that the good ones stand out," McPeek continued. "He's never been outworked in the mornings and up to now in the afternoon as well. It's a good position to be in, and hopefully he takes us to the Breeders' Cup."

Summer Front has stood for $10,000 since beginning his stallion career at Airdrie Stud in 2016. The son of War Front  won four graded stakes on the turf, including the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G2T), and placed in grade 1 company five times. He ran 23 times with an 8-6-3 record and earned $1,077,140.