I love the old geldings in this sport. They stay around forever, long after their peers have retired to stud.
Their connections send them out to race many times during the year and are not above going after Gr2 or Gr3 events. Many of these warriors are turf horses like With Anticipation, the great grey. He raced 48 times, through age 9, winning 15 starts and banking over $2 million in earnings. With Anticipation was born March 27, 1995 at George Strawbridge’s farm in Pennsylvania. The big grey was a son of Relaunch out of Fran’s Valentine, winner of the first BC Juvenile Fillies in 1984 (though she was DQ’ed for interference).
During his best season, in 2002, he won 3 Gr1 Turf races in 2002 and was 2nd in the BC Turf, yet he never won an Eclipse.
Among With Anticipation’s victories were wins in the Gr1 Sword DAncer at Saratoga and the Man O’War at Belmont. He also won the United Nations Handicap that year, breaking his own course record for the race, 2:12.81. Pat Day piloted With Anticipation to victory in the Sword Dancer, in which the Hall of Fame jockey surpassed Chris McCarron as the top money-winning jockey.
The previous year, WA had won all three of those races, but a bit of family history showed up in the UN: in deep stretch, WA cut off Senure and was DQ’ed, after setting a new course record.
With Anticipation defeated Sarafan, Denon, The Tin Man, Balto Star, Silvano, King Cugat, and John’s Call, among others. But it was the one horse he could not beat that kept him out of the year-end awards, High Chaparral. After only one start and one win the the US, the Coolmore runner was almost unanimously awarded the Eclipse. That’s the sad thing about these old, hard-knocking geldings: they may win a lot, they may be around a long time, but that doesn’t get them any more respect.
Here’s the big grey, proving he was the best American turf horse in 2002:
After retiring from the track in 2004, With Anticipation began a new career at Strawbridge’s PA farm: foxhunter.