09/16/2013 4:33PM

Breeders' Cup Mile: Wise Dan towers over other contenders

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Michael Burns
Wise Dan became the first two-time winner of the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sunday, prevailing by 3 1/2 lengths under John Velazquez.

Wise Dan left no doubt in Sunday’s Woodbine Mile that he will be an absolute tiger when he makes a bid to win his second straight Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. The only question now is whether he will train up to the race or make one more pre-BC start in the Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 5 at Keeneland.

Trainer Charlie Lopresti said Monday that Wise Dan would tell him whether to race again or merely work. But Wise Dan will be based at Keeneland until he ships to Santa Anita, and racing in the Shadwell simply means walking out of his stall and over to the racetrack. Moreover, it will be surprising if Wise Dan doesn’t come out of his Woodbine Mile win itching to do more before long than merely train.

Though Wise Dan ran a faster mile at Woodbine than any horse before him, his rider, John Velazquez, barely moved his hands during the stretch run, and Wise Dan appeared to be out for little more than an exceedingly fast gallop.

Truth is, Lopresti has several times left open the possibility of passing potential starts with Wise Dan – he even did so after the Fourstardave at Saratoga and before the Woodbine Mile – and Wise Dan always has told his trainer he wants to race. From the outside, and barring the unforeseen, it seems more likely than not that Wise Dan will line up for one more start before he takes his talents back to the West Coast.

The Woodbine Mile was one of two races this past weekend with possible BC Mile implications; the other was the Group 1 Prix du Moulin on Sunday at Longchamp, where the turf was soft and slow-playing, a stark contrast to the typical state of the Santa Anita course in early November.

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: See DRF’s top contenders]

The 5-year-old Maxios scored a mild upset when he won by five lengths, tracking a rabbit for the filly Flotilla (the 2012 BC Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner who never fired Sunday) and taking command at the top of the stretch. Alan Cooper, the racing manager for the owning Niarchos family, mentioned the BC Mile as one of several potential races for Maxios this fall. Maxios has class, but not Wise Dan-class, and his best form comes on turf softer than he likely would find at Santa Anita.

The connections of Moulin runner-up Olympic Glory also have voiced BC Mile interest, but Olympic Glory had to be put to a heavy drive to barely finish a well-beaten second Sunday, and it was noteworthy to learn that jockey Frankie Dettori had in part pinned Olympic Glory’s subpar performance on his inability to turn adequately. If the talented 3-year-old cannot handle the mild bend at Longchamp, he would be in deep trouble trying to corner on the tighter Santa Anita course.

gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
Breeders Cup Sprint has been left out of final 6 races in recent years.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
What I would give to have Dawn Approach come over for the Mile.
gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
I hope Breeders Cup moves this race up and takes it out of the P-6 and Late P-4.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Yeah but some of us could use a free square since you know those other races are going to be so tough. But you do make a good point.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
What do you replace it with
Perl More than 1 year ago
One of the other 74 "championship races" on the new watered down Breeder's Cup.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Wish they would go back to original 7 plus f&m turf. And one day. Only
matt More than 1 year ago
Summer Front is a beast. Look out.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Fantasy Race. Mile and 1/8 turf HERE IS THE FIELD 1. Wise Dan 2. John Henry 3. Goldikova 4.Frankel 5.All Along 6. Kotashaan 7. Lure 8.High Chaparral WHO WINS
robert bertz More than 1 year ago
Manila
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Won 9 in a row Bc turf. Ill make him a also eligible.lol
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Forgot about Manila. One of the best!
Perl More than 1 year ago
It depends bro. On a straight-away I think it would be tough to beat Frankel. Many of the horses you list seem to take longer to get underway.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Good point but It would be a turn race you have to give them all a chance. I think Frankel would have a legitimate shot going left hand at this distance.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Frankel already won going right handed, and Left handed. So He would probably handle this field underwraps. Wise Dan and John henry chasing him.
Edward More than 1 year ago
That is silly stuff. Frankel never even raced in a race with a horse half as talented as the weakest horse on this list.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
I would never put High Chaparral, or All Along in this. They were middle distance horses who ran 12f primarily. Otherwise Frankel would waste this field at 8-9 furlongs. JMO.
Edward More than 1 year ago
Replace HChap with Rock of Gibralter who made a sick move after missing the break, circled the field of tough hombres, to come in second to Domedriver who ran a monster race with a mindboggling inside, weaving, ride. Before that he destroyed everything in Europe at a mile. I'll take him over Frankel for sure.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Let's have some fun. Let's do a race for strictly milers, or GR1 winning milers. Frankel Goldikova Wise Dan Lure Brigidier Gerrard Royal Academy Canford Cliffs Da Hoss Miesque Kris Location#1 = Royal Ascot, Straight Mile. Location #2 = Santa Anita Results for both. Royal Ascot= Frankel #1, Brigidier #2, Miesque #3 Santa Anita = Frankel #1, Miesque #2, Wise Dan #3
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Goldikova
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Need to add Bien Bien
Bugsy Anderson More than 1 year ago
No War Chant? GREAT question BTW. I would have to go Goldikova, Frankel and Wise Dan. (im taking in consideration the way the pace would play out and I am guessing that the others here are just looking at who is the best horse)
Daniel DiPrinzio More than 1 year ago
Put Secretariat in there and he wins in hand
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
NO BIG RED CANT DO THAT TO THEM we will have Belmont park situation. Five or six scratches. Frankel and the geldings John henry and wise Dan only ones showing up. The Belmont. Park comment is just a joke we have on the west coast in the sports book, please no one take offence. Belmont is fine American race track.