Last Dance

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Over in Bill Mott’s barn at the harness track Tuesday morning, one horse gets ready to train. The dark bay 2-year-old gelding looks a picture – white blinkers with orange trim, white saddle pad with an orange C inside of a black circle, four white polos, sheepskin cover on the yoke, attentive, upright ears.

And a Saratoga rookie in a black Cincinnati Reds hat on the shank.

Ohio-based trainer Doug Cowans makes his Saratoga debut with Next Shares in today’s With Anticipation Stakes. The son of Archarcharch was meant to run in a maiden race Sunday, but wound up on the also-eligible list, so Cowans goes to Plan B though it will be the last time he saddles the horse.

Next Shares finished second by a half-length in his debut at Ellis Park Aug. 1 for Cowans and owner Mike Foster, but caught the attention of some high-profile connections and races for Brous Stable, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable today. The Fasig-Tipton October graduate moves to Mott’s care after the race.

“It’s bittersweet, for sure, but it’s a business,” Cowans said Tuesday while watching Next Shares gallop at Clare Court. “I know it will mean my owner (Foster) will go to the sale and we’ll try to buy some more good horses. He could go on and be a nice horse. He could have won the race at Ellis if he’d settled a little bit more.”

To read the rest of the With Anticipation preview, download Wednesday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.