Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap
The Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap is an American race for thoroughbred horses, aged three and up, run annually in mid August at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. A prep for the Breeders' Cup Turf, it is set at a distance of one and one-half miles (12 furlongs) on the turf. A Grade I event, the race offers a purse of $500,000.
The Sword Dancer is named for the best three-year-old colt or gelding of 1959, best three-year-old, best handicap horse, and the American Horse of the Year. Sword Dancer was elected to the United States Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1977. The event was inaugurated at Aqueduct Racetrack in 1975 as a six furlong sprint on dirt for three-year-old horses. Beginning in 1977, it was hosted by Belmont Park then in 1992 was moved to the Saratoga Race Course. Since inception, the Sword Dancer has been contested at various distances - 6 furlongs from 1975-1976 (on dirt), 8.5 furlongs (1 1/16 miles) from 1977-1979, and 12 furlongs (1-1/2 miles) from 1980-present (on turf). The race has been run as an Invitational Handicap since 1994.
In 2000, nine-year-old John's Call became the oldest horse to win this race.