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.

Saratoga Race Course Graded Stakes Races

Stakes Race Grade Purse
Schuylerville Stakes III $100,000
Coaching Club American Oaks I $250,000
Sanford Stakes II $150,000
Lake George Stakes II $150,000
Jim Dandy Stakes II $500,000
Diana Stakes I $500,000
Fourstardave Handicap II $150,000
Ruffian Handicap I $250,000
Amsterdam Stakes II $150,000
Test Stakes I $250,000
Whitney Handicap I $750,000
Honorable Miss Handicap II $150,000
Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap I $250,000
National Museum of Racing HOF Stakes II $150,000
Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap I $500,000
Adirondack Stakes II $150,000
Saratoga Special Stakes II $150,000
Alabama Stakes I $500,000
Lake Placid Stakes II $150,000
Bernard Baruch Handicap II $200,000
Victory Ride Stakes III $100,000
Ballston Spa Handicap II $200,000
Ballerina Stakes I $250,000
King's Bishop Stakes I $250,000
Travers Stakes I $1,000,000
Personal Ensign Stakes I $300,000
With Anticipation Stakes II $150,000
Forego Handicap I $250,000
Woodward Stakes I $750,000
Saranac Stakes III $100,000
Spinaway Stakes I $250,000
Glens Falls Handicap III $100,000
Hopeful Stakes I $250,000