05/05/2012 11:09AM

Churchill Downs: Lopresti aims to keep Successful Dan, Wise Dan apart as long as possible

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Tom Keyser
Jockey Julien Leparoux shows his excitement after Successful Dan wins the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Charles Lopresti is in the enviable position of having two of the top horses in the handicap division in brothers Wise Dan and Successful Dan.

When choosing races for the two, Lopresti’s primary goal is to keep them apart as long as he can. While he is pointing Ben Ali winner Wise Dan to the $400,000 Stephen Foster at Churchill on June 16, Lopresti will look at multiple options for Successful Dan, who under Julien Leparoux set a track record of 1:41.04 winning Friday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Alysheba Stakes by one length over Fort Larned. Successful Dan earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 110. Wise Dan had earned a Beyer of 117 for setting a Polytrack record at Keeneland on April 22.

Lopresti said one potential option for Successful Dan is a start on turf, a surface he has never before been on.

“I’ve been toying with the idea of trying him on the grass,” Lopresti said Saturday morning from Keeneland, where Successful Dan was vanned back to Friday night. “Julien’s always said ‘What would he be like on the grass?’ ”

A longer-range possibility for Successful Dan could be the Pacific Classic in August at Del Mar. The Pacific Classic, like the Stephen Foster, is a “Win and You’re In” race, meaning the winner gets a fees-paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita.

Successful Dan has finished first in his last five races dating back to Oct. 10, 2010. He was disqualified from first in the Clark Handicap on Nov. 26, 2010. He emerged from that race with a torn suspensory that kept him away from the races for 18 months. Lopresti said Successful Dan came out of Saturday’s race in good order.

“He looks really good, his legs look good, they’re cold,” Lopresti said. “He’s a little tired. He had to dig down deep for that one. I think we’ll know more in four or five days, when we take him to the track.”

Wise Dan, who could return to the work tab this week, and Successful Dan are a combined 3 for 3 after getting lengthy breaks over the winter.

“I’m very lucky to have these kind of horses,” said Lopresti, who has a 24-horse stable. “They each had the winter off, had a little bit of a break. You’re always wondering if you’re doing the right thing by not going to south Florida or Louisiana, but it seemed to have worked out.”