11/04/2012 2:27PM

Breeders' Cup Mile: Wise Dan wastes no time going back to Kentucky

Tom Keyser
Wise Dan got a 107 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Wise Dan set a Santa Anita turf-course record of 1:31.78 winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile here Saturday. He might also have set a Breeders’ Cup record for speed of departure from a host venue.

Wise Dan was shipped back to Kentucky from California in the middle of the night, leaving Santa Anita before 3 a.m. Sunday. He came, he saw, he conquered – and he got out of Dodge. His Beyer Speed Figure for the BC MIle came back a 107.

His name squarely in the center of the conversation concerning who will be named 2012 Horse of the Year, Wise Dan is going to trainer Charlie Lopresti’s farm near Lexington, Ky., for a period of inactivity. The 5-year-old Wise Dan is a gelding, and barring injury, he will race again in 2013. What his schedule next year will look like, Lopresti and owner-breeder Mort Fink either weren’t willing or able to reveal following Saturday’s win.

“He’s earned a rest now,” Lopresti said. “We’ve always taken things one race at a time. We haven’t really even talked about what comes next.”

One course of action would be to point Wise Dan for a race on the Dubai World Cup card in late March. Lopresti said Dubai was “an option” on Saturday, and has mentioned the chance of Wise Dan going there before. Wise Dan has an excellent record on synthetic surfaces, and if Dubai is chosen as a destination, the $10 million World Cup on Meydan Racecourse’s Tapeta main track might be the goal, but the $5 million Duty Free over nine furlongs on turf could also be in play. Fink and Lopresti also could plot a campaign similar to 2012, when Wise Dan raced in Kentucky, New York, and Canada before a season finale in the Breeders’ Cup.

As for Animal Kingdom, who finished with a flurry after being hung up in traffic at the top of the stretch, a trip to Dubai definitely awaits, provided Animal Kingdom can finally stay healthy. His second-place finish in his first race since February came at a distance shorter than Animal Kingdom’s best, and he showed off the immense talent that won him the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Animal Kingdom, who came out of Saturday’s race in good order, will return to trainer Graham Motion’s base at the Fair Hill  Training Center in Maryland, the plan being to give him one start at Gulfstream Park this winter before shipping to the Middle East. Having not won a race since February 2011, Animal Kingdom will be eligible for high-end allowance races if his connections choose to use that kind of race rather than a stakes to prep for the World Cup.

Excelebration, who was slightly disappointing finishing fourth as the close second choice behind Wise Dan, returns to trainer Aidan O’Brien’s base in Ireland, flying home by way of Amsterdam. O’Brien hinted after the colt won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes two weeks ago in England that Excelebration might be retired to stud for 2013, but as of Sunday no plans have been announced.

The future also is uncertain for Moonlight Cloud, the high-class French filly who had early trouble and never got involved in the Mile, finishing eighth. Trainer Freddie Head said after Saturday’s race that he didn’t know yet whether owner-breeder George Strawbridge planned to breed or race Moonlight Cloud in 2013.


stevem131718 More than 1 year ago
""Having not won a race since February 2011, Animal Kingdom will be eligible for high-end allowance races"" Really? I know most of that statement is correct, but I guess I dreamed that he won the 2011 Kentucky Derby.
Steve Richards More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan best horse in USA on any surface. Best Miler in the World. Now I see why Frankel didnt come over here.
Lucy Ohannessian More than 1 year ago
Does anyone here understand figs, let alone do their own? If raw times matter (which they don't), Obviously won his prep *over this course* almost three seconds FASTER than Wise Dan ran in Keeneland....that would have made him a mortal lock! ;) But of course he wasn't....such thoughts would have been silly. For those preps, Wise Dan, going off Beyers numbers, still ran the faster prep, despite the three second spread, and came up with his top turf number for the year in this race. Both in line with the results. This is a very fast course generally, and was playing like lightning on the day. In the end, the Mile ran .17 faster than the main local prep for this race, run in early October. Obviously, who won that race, earned a 105 on that day and a 103 here. Totally in line.
PeterG More than 1 year ago
Never question Andy Beyer and his cronies like Randy Moss? (PeterG shaking index finger Dikembe Mutumbo style) They are the only people on earth who know something about horse racing. Don't you people know that? (PeterG with fake confused look on face) The fact that Beyer and Moss couldn't pick a winner to save their life doesn't mean anything. They are still horse racing experts and you aren't. If they say Wise Dan got a 107, then Wise Dan got a 107. That's it. Move On. Just like they said I'll Have Another got a 95 in the Santa Anita Derby and then he won the Kentucky Derby in his next start. ha ha (Those first four sentences are sarcasm by the way, just in case somebody gets confused about that.)
DRFHersh More than 1 year ago
I'm all for sarcasm, but personal attacks -- which have washed over the comments section of this website - are a different animal. The discussions here can be interesting, and it's great readers have a forum to speak and not just be spoken to. But is there any chance for a little more civility? Any chance?
Jeffrey Tretter More than 1 year ago
Totally agree about being civil.(Jeff T nodding in approval?) Beyers numbers are their opinion and always debateable. If you disagree and are correct you stand to make a few dollars the next time the horses run either betting with or against them. I thought the classic fig was way high and will probably take a stand against both horses if they are in against similar. Amazing how many times I look back and see the horse with the highest fig win and I did not like him along with the public.
william reckner More than 1 year ago
hey andy that 107 sounds a little low dont you think?
Kendra Mcallister More than 1 year ago
beyers are a joke to begin with untrust worthy...Where's Frankel oh retired
KissmeCatexoxo More than 1 year ago
I was there and to give Wise Dana 107 is a joke. A final time of a 131.3 for a MILE is WAYYYY over a 107. Beyers mean nothing. If they did then every horse with the highest number would win.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Turf was playing extremely fast which plays into the Beyer calculation,Little Mike tied a 25 year old track record winning the turf,track records are at the mercy of the grounds crew and those guys always want impressive times on big race days.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
I think its great he gets turned out for awhile, to be a horse. My hat is off to WISE DAN and the connections for doing the right thing. Every single horse could benefit by getting turned out now and then. GOOD JOB guys.
himmelle More than 1 year ago
New Track record and gets a 107....this is why most thinking people don't use Beyer numbers. They don't mean anything.
B More than 1 year ago
I play Beyers and find them helpful, but you sure do have a point here. As an aside, I was very impressed by Animal Kingdom.
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
you bet, big race (he should get a 107 also he he)-lolk-DS
DRFHersh More than 1 year ago
I'm not a big figure proponent by any means, but you may be missing a basic tenet of figs: track variant. The SA grass course was as quick as it possibly could be Saturday (BC Turf also almost a course record), so of course, the figure is not going to be astronomical. Those only come when a horse runs a superior time on a course that's not playing radically fast.
PeterG More than 1 year ago
"His Beyer Speed Figure for the BC MIle came back a 107." Completely unimportant information in my opinion.
DRFHersh More than 1 year ago
While I might quibble over the relative importance of the information, I will note that it was edited into the story after it was filed.
Kevin More than 1 year ago
He came back a BC champion. Frankel dont want none