Updated on 09/15/2011 12:48PM

With Anticipation hangs on

With Anticipation crosses the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of a late-running King Cugat in Saturday's Grade 1 Sword Dancer.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - This time, With Anticipation gets to keep his Grade 1 win.

Disqualified from first in last month's United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park, With Anticipation made amends in grand style Saturday at Saratoga, registering a front-running, three-quarter length victory over a troubled 9-5 favorite King Cugat in the $500,000, Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational. Slew Valley, who pressed the pace for more than a mile and a quarter, held third.

Meanwhile, John's Call, the 10-year-old gelding, defending Sword Dancer champion, and sentimental choice among the 31,209 at sunny Saratoga, finished last in his attempt to become the oldest Thoroughbred to win a Grade 1 race.

With Anticipation, a 6-year-old son of Relaunch owned by George Strawbridge's Augustin Stable, had to work hard for this victory. Under Pat Day, the gray gelding hooked up immediately with Slew Valley, under John Velazquez. The two were heads apart through fractions of 23.61 seconds, 47.93, 1:12.87, and 1:37.80.

"I would have liked to have gone a little slower," Day said. "I looked at the clock first time past the wire, saw we went in 47 [seconds] and change and I said, 'I don't know if we could continue like this.' But I thought it was detrimental to throw him down. He was moving easily underneath of me though we were going quickly." The duel continued until the eighth pole before With Anticipation began to open up. He had more than enough to hold off the late-running King Cugat, who checked several times in the race.

With Anticipation covered the 12 furlongs in 2:26.41 over an inner turf course labeled good and returned $14.60 to win.

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard said the Sword Dancer win more than made up for last month's disqualification.

"Quite a little bit, and particularly for the horse because I thought the horse deserved credit which he never got," Sheppard said.

King Cugat, in his first attempt at 1 1/2 miles, had to check into all three turns, none more severe than the final turn when he was forced back next to last. King Cugat re-rallied around the turn and came wide into the stretch but could not catch the winner.

"He doesn't like to run inside of horses on the sharp turns," said Bailey, who nodded an emphatic yes when asked if the trouble cost him the win.

John's Call seemed in perfect striking range early, sitting third behind the dueling leaders. But when Jean-Luc Samyn asked him to run down the backside, "he didn't quite pick up the bit," Samyn said.

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