06/25/2002 11:00PM

With Anticipation targets U.N.

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - With Anticipation was a multiple Grade 1 winner on the turf last year, his first full year of racing on the grass, but it was a stakes he didn't win that signaled his prominence in the country's handicap division.

With Anticipation finished first in the $500,000 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park, at that point his biggest race, but he was disqualified and placed second because of drifting out into Senure in the stretch. He will return to Monmouth in this year's Grade 1 United Nations next Saturday, July 6, trainer Jonathan Sheppard said Wednesday.

With Anticipation, now a 7-year-old, won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and Grade 1 Man o' War after the United Nations last year and still remains a dominant player in the handicap turf division. In his last two starts, he has run fourth in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont and finished second in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs.

In both races, With Anticipation closed from off the pace, a running style much different from the front-running tactics he used in wins last year. In the Woodford Reserve, he closed strongly to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Beat Hollow. In the Manhattan, also won by Beat Hollow, Sheppard said With Anticipation had no desire to run. He broke near the middle of the pack and then rated back in sixth, but closed ground late to finish three lengths behind the winner.

"He didn't like the inside post and doesn't like to be pinned down," Sheppard said. "After the race, Pat [Day] said he would have liked him to kick earlier in the race. It just so happened that he was trapped inside."

Sheppard said With Anticipation does not need to race on the lead, though he has raced on the lead in the past in his longer turf races, especially ones that lacked a controlling speed. The United Nations is run at 1 3/8 miles, and With Anticipation may once again take to the front as he did last year. He has been first across the wire in all three of his races at the distance.

Sheppard said Day would ride With Anticipation in the U.N. With Anticipation worked out what Sheppard called a "long, slow breeze" Wednesday morning over the turf course at Sheppard's Unionville, Pa., farm. He said With Anticipation is doing great since the Manhattan, and he will gallop out at Delaware Park once more before shipping to Monmouth the morning of the race.

Crash Course gets a shot

Crash Course, a multiple Grade 3 winner on the turf, had a strong one-mile turf workout Wednesday that convinced his connections to run him in the United Nations.

Crash Course, with regular jockey Jose Velez Jr. aboard, breezed one mile in 1:42.60 around the dogs (cones set off the rail). William Croll, assistant trainer to his father Jimmy Croll, said he clocked Crash Course's final time one second faster.

"He worked very, very well," Croll said. "I don't think he can be any readier for the U.N. He keeps getting better with age and he will be fresh coming into the race."

Crash Course has not raced since winning the Grade 3 Mac Diarmida Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 20.

Key Lory goes long and slow

Key Lory recorded his third consecutive solid turf workout Wednesday in preparation for the United Nations, breezing one mile in 1:44. He started slowly in the workout, going the first quarter-mile in 28 seconds, but finished up strongly with jockey Chuck Lopez aboard, recording the final furlong in a solid 12 seconds.

Trainer Dennis Manning said everything is going according to schedule with 8-year-old Key Lory heading into the biggest race of his career.

"I'm just getting maintenance breezes into him without working him too hard," Manning said. "His last workout before the race will be an easy half-mile breeze next Wednesday."

Key Lory is 4 for 4 on the turf, with all his grass victories coming in stakes.

Manning also reported that Ready to Roll, who ran sixth in the U.N. last year, will also run in the United Nations. Ready to Roll has made only one start since last year, running fifth in a money allowance on the turf here May 27.

As of Wednesday, others expected for the United Nations, the first Grade 1 of the meet, are Skipping and Suances. Skipping, trained by Bobby Frankel, ran third as the favorite, beaten a head for second, in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 15. Frankel won the United Nations last year with Senure.

The Darrell Vienna-trained Suances has won two in a row on the grass, and only has one loss in three starts in the U.S. He has won the Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup at Bay Meadows and the Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star in his last two starts.

Wildcat Heir looks good in debut

Two-year-old Wildcat Heir, a full brother to two stakes winners, did not disappoint in his eagerly anticipated debut Wednesday. With Eibar Coa in the saddle, he came from right off the pace to storm by pacesetter Farno at the sixteenth pole and won under wraps in a quick 57.65 seconds over five furlongs. Wildcat Heir, who opened up at 1-10 but closed at 4-5, was clearly the most impressive 2-year-old winner of the meet.

Once Wildcat Heir switched leads at the top of the stretch, he displayed a tremendous acceleration to go from two lengths back to 2 3/4 lengths in front at the wire, under little urging from Coa.

Wildcat Heir, trained by Ben Perkins and owned by New Farm, is the third foal out of the mare Penniless Heiress. Each of her three foals is by Forest Wildcat. Forest Heir, a 4-year-old, is a multiple stakes winner for Perkins and 3-year-old Forest Heiress won the Grade 3 Sorority here last year while in Perkins's barn, and was sold by New Farm to Stonerside Stable two months ago.

Trump Marina meets winners

Trump Marina, a runaway winner in his maiden win June 1, will make his next start Saturday in an entry-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles, trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said.

Trump Marina, a 3-year-old, won by nearly 14 lengths, earning a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. He has logged two solid workouts since his last race, including a bullet four-furlong workout June 13 over a muddy track, and seems geared up to try winners for the first time.