07/05/2002 11:00PM

With Anticipation wins U.N. - for keeps


OCEANPORT, N.J. - With Anticipation, Denon, and Sarafan were noses apart with a furlong to go in the Grade 1, $500,000 at Monmouth Park on Saturday, but it was the oldest member of the trio, the 7-year-old With Anticipation, who outlasted his younger rivals to set a new course record.

With Anticipation, with Pat Day aboard, covered 11 furlongs over a firm turf course in 2:12.81. The United Nations win was a kind of redemption for With Anticipation, who was disqualified and placed second for bumping Senure in deep stretch in the 2001 running.

Denon, who like Senure is trained by Bobby Frankel, was in tight quarters at the top of the stretch and finished a neck back in second. Sarafan was a half-length behind Denon in third.

While With Anticipation used front-running tactics en route to two Grade 1 victories last year, he was winless in three starts this year and had not shown his customary speed. However, on Saturday, Day guided With Anticipation from the outside post in a field of seven to rate in second behind the pacesetter Suances.

Suances, the 2-1 lukewarm favorite under David Flores, set moderate fractions on the front end, while maintaining a length lead over With Anticipation. Denon kept a clear spot in third while Sarafan and the rest of the field raced far off the pace. Turning for home, With Anticipation moved up alongside Suances, while Denon came three wide and Sarafan made a menacing move under Eibar Coa on their outside.

With less than a furlong to go, Suances dropped back along the rail as the three others battled to the wire in a thrilling stretch drive. With Anticipation, a gelding owned by Augustin Stable, held his slim lead to the wire and paid $6.80 as the second-choice. Suances, Deputy Strike, Crash Course, and Blazing Fury completed the order of finish.

"Pat gave him a beautiful ride," trainer Jonathan Sheppard said. "I was concerned that he would tire when I saw him sitting right off the front-runner, and it seemed he lost the lead in the stretch. But that's Pat's forte - coaxing the last bit out of a horse to get the win."

With Anticipation's last two starts - in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont and Grade 1 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs - were losing efforts behind the Frankel-trained Beat Hollow. In the Manhattan on June 8, Sheppard said his horse was hurt by the inside post.

o The Elliott Walden-trained Bells for Marlin ($4.40) stalked the early pace under Day and cruised home o win the $50,000 Twin Light Stakes at nine furlongs on the turf in 1:48.34. Once Around was 1 1/2 lengths back in second. Weepnomoremylady was third.