With Anticipation has been retired after re-aggravating a tendon injury below his left fetlock. The 9-year-old gelding is a five-time grade I winner with earnings over $2.6 million. He is currently at Gulfstream Park with trainer Jonathan Sheppard, but he will eventually retire to owner/breeder George Strawbridge's farm in Lancaster County, Penn., about 20 minutes away from his Augustin Stable near Cochranville, Penn.
The injury was discovered after a Feb. 19 workout. The horse had been preparing for a start in Sunday's Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT).
"He is fairly comfortable, he can be hand-walked," said Sheppard. "We noticed he wasn't right that afternoon. This is almost exactly same spot he injured last year at Saratoga, but it was worse this time."
With Anticipation, a striking gray son of Relaunch, made his first start for Sheppard and Strawbridge as a 2-year-old, but he didn't really hit his racing stride in 2001 at age six when he started making the majority of his starts on the grass. He peaked at age seven, winning three straight grade I races--the United Nations Handicap in July, his second straight Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap in August, and his second straight Man o' War Stakes in September--all on the turf. In all the gelding made 17 starts in group or grade I races and he placed in nine of those. He earned $2,660,543 and retires with a 48-15-9-8 record. His last victory was the 2002 Man o' War. His six starts since then included a second-place finish to High Chaparral in the '02 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), and a third-place finish in his most recent start, a mile turf allowance at Gulfstream on Feb. 5.
"It's been a humbling experience to be part of all that," said Sheppard. "It's sad, but these things happen. His last race was a very good race. For a 9-year-old to run as well as he did says something about him maintaining the ability to run at a high level."
Sheppard said Strawbridge indicated he may use With Anticipation as his own pleasure horse, once the gelding has fully recovered.
"That's a nice thing to think of, his owner and breeder riding him in retirement," said Sheppard.
Strawbridge acquired the dam of With Anticipation, 1985 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Fran's Valentine, privately in 1992 after the death of her previous owner, Earl Scheib. Her first foal for Strawbridge was group III winner With Fascination (by Dayjur
). Since then Fran's Valentine has produced seven foals for Strawbridge, including Sign of Love, a 4-year-old A.P. Indy
gelding currently with Sheppard, and an Honour and Glory yearling colt.