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With Anticipation won't run Sunday
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - It appeared that With Anticipation, the multiple Grade 1-winning gelding, had fully recovered from a tendon injury that short-circuited his 2003 campaign.
But Thursday afternoon, hours after a strong morning workout by With Anticipation, trainer Jonathan Sheppard noticed something amiss with the 9-year-old gelding. Now, it appears that the career of one of the more popular Thoroughbreds of recent years could be over.
Sheppard said Thursday afternoon that With Anticipation - who suffered a torn tendon behind the ankle in his left foreleg last August before the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga - would not run in Sunday's Grade 1, $250,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap. Sheppard said that With Anticipation may have re-aggravated that injury while working five furlongs in 1:00.60 in company with two horses Thursday morning. If that is the case, then With Anticipation will most likely be retired.
"The horse does not look comfortable in his stall," Sheppard said. "I think that work aggravated his old injury. We will not be running, and we will have to make a decision on his future. I'm guessing we'll call it a day, but I won't make anything official until after I've spoken to Mr. [George] Strawbridge."
If he is retired, With Anticipation will end his career with 15 wins, 9 seconds, and 8 thirds from 48 starts. He earned $2,660,543 for Strawbridge, who races under the name Augustin Stable. With Anticipation is a son of Relaunch out of the mare Fran's Valentine.
With Anticipation won five Grade 1 races including two runnings of the Sword Dancer Handicap at Saratoga and the Man o' War at Belmont, as well as one running of the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth. With Anticipation was also disqualified from victory in the 2002 United Nations.
He was diagnosed with a tendon tear the day before the 2003 Sword Dancer, but the prognosis was always good for a return to racing. He did return on Feb. 5, finishing third behind Del Mar Show and the Chilean-bred Host in a classified allowance race. That race - and Thursday's work - were designed to get With Anticipation to the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.
Thursday's workout was done in company with two stablemates. With Anticipation was to have started three or four lengths behind those horses and pass them in the stretch. Instead, With Anticipation was seven or eight lengths behind those horses and may have overexerted himself in a failed attempt to catch them.
Sheppard said that he probably would not be able to X-ray With Anticipation until Friday or Saturday, and that he would probably speak to Strawbridge over the weekend.
Without With Anticipation, the Gulfstream Park will still have four Grade 1 or Group 1 winners in the field - Balto Star, Kicken Kris, Man From Wicklow, and Hard Buck. Request for Parole, Slew Valley, Quest Star, and Magic Mecke are also expected to run.
Friends Lake headed to Florida Derby
Friends Lake, the third-place finisher in the Holy Bull Stakes last month, will make his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby on March 13, trainer John Kimmel said.
Kimmel said he skipped the Fountain of Youth with Friends Lake because running in all three races "was too much."
Though Friends Lake was beaten 12 3/4 lengths in the Holy Bull, Kimmel believes there were valid reasons the New York-bred son of A.P. Indy didn't run his best race that day.
"He stumbled leaving the gate and he got in behind horses," Kimmel said. "This horse has got a good cruising speed, and Richie [Migliore] was into his mouth real hard from into the turn to the four-furlong marker. When room finally did open up and he asked him to run, he didn't have anything. He might have been discouraged from Richie being into his mouth so hard."
Kimmel said it wasn't Migliore's fault, because Friends Lake "would have clipped heels" with another horse if Migliore didn't have a strong hold of him.
Friends Lake, who won the restricted Sleepy Hollow Stakes last October, has breezed three times at Payson Park since the Holy Bull. On Tuesday, Friends Lake worked five furlongs in 1:03.40, the fastest of five moves at the distance.
Kimmel still believes that Friends Lake can be a factor down the Triple Crown trail.
"He's definitely a horse that's going to like the distance, and he wants to be involved early," Kimmel said. "He'll be fit, he's training well at Payson. He needs to stamp himself; I know he's got the talent. It's a wide-open race and division right now."
As of Friday, the horses strongly considering the Florida Derby included Read the Footnotes, Master David, Sir Oscar, Value Plus, and Friends Lake.
Silver Wagon's next race still undecided
Trainer Ralph Ziadie reported that Silver Wagon came out of his third-place finish in Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in good shape but said he has not decided what will be next for his Grade 1 winner.
Silver Wagon's status for the Fountain of Youth remained uncertain up until the day of the race due to a foot bruise that forced him to miss several days of training two weeks earlier. With jockey Jose Santos aboard for the first time, Silver Wagon raced near midpack in the Fountain of Youth and was good enough to be third, but he never threatened Read the Footnotes or Second of June. Silver Wagon races for Mahmoud Fustok's Buckram Oak Stable.
"After the race, Mr. Fustok said he thought we should shorten Silver Wagon up for his next start," Ziadie said. "But Jose felt the horse ran well and just got a little tired because he missed several days of training. He said once he knew he had third place secured he didn't really pressure him near the end.
"I'll wait and see how he does over the next couple of weeks," Ziadie said, "and then sit down with Mr. Fustok and decide what to do next."
Ziadie said his options would include the Florida Derby on March 13 or the seven-furlong Swale Stakes earlier the same day. Silver Wagon won the Grade 1 Hopeful at seven furlongs last summer at Saratoga.
With Luzzi in town, Shake You Down works
With jockey Mike Luzzi in town on holiday with his family, trainer Scott Lake moved up a weekend workout for Shake You Down to Thursday morning. After Shake You Down blitzed five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds under his regular rider, the question is whether Lake can successfully keep Shake You Down away from the races until April 8, when he is scheduled to run in the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn.
"I'm hoping," Lake said. "Luzzi said that was probably the best he ever felt, the most aggressive he's ever been working."
Lake wants to keep Shake You Down racing at six furlongs, which is why he is not considering the $200,000 Richter Scale Handicap here on March 6. That race is run at seven furlongs.
Also, Lake said it would not be worth it financially to run Shake You Down in the $125,000 Pelleteri Breeders' Cup at Fair Grounds on March 14 because it would cost $30,000 to get a plane, and Shake You Down is only eligible for the winner's share of $75,000.
"For what we run for, it makes no sense," Lake said.
Paulson Handicap canceled
The $75,000 Allen Paulson Handicap, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares scheduled to be run Saturday, was canceled because the entity that puts up half the purse money did not have enough funds.
Gulfstream and the Georgia Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association are each responsible for half the purse. According to Gulfstream racing secretary Dave Bailey, the GTOBA "couldn't supply their half of the purse."
In its place, Gulfstream carded a $46,000 classified allowance race for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf. The field for the race, designed as a prep for the $60,000 Marshua River Stakes here on March 13, includes Cellars Shiraz, who won the 2003 Allen Paulson but who has lost her last six starts.
Delta Princess - who won two allowance races over this course last winter but didn't fare as well on a yielding turf two weeks ago - and Born Something are the two top mares in this field.
Delmonico Cat retired
Delmonico Cat, winner of the Grade 3 Honey Fox Handicap here on opening day, has been retired from racing, according to trainer Bill Mott. Delmonico Cat, a daughter of Storm Cat-Glass Ceiling, by Pirate's Bounty, is owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod.
Delmonico Cat ended her career with an 11th-place finish in the Endeavour Stakes on Feb. 10 at Tampa Bay Downs. She retires with a record of 6-5-2 from 15 starts and earnings of $273,804.
* Cajun Beat, the Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, worked four furlongs in 50 seconds Thursday morning at Palm Meadows. He is being pointed to the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 27.
- additional reporting by Mike Welsch