04/29/2013 11:40AM

Churchill Downs notes: Wise Dan to go in Woodford Reserve

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Wise Dan (inside), the 2012 Horse of the Year, is scheduled to make his second start of 2013 on Saturday in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Charlie LoPresti all but confirmed a Kentucky Derby Day appearance by the reigning Horse of the Year early Monday from Keeneland, saying that “unless something unforeseen happens,” Wise Dan will run Saturday in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

“It’s sure looking like it,” LoPresti said. “Obviously, we’ll monitor everything up to race day, but he is really sharp right now. If things stay the same, we’ll run. All systems are go.”

The addition of Wise Dan would make the $500,000 Woodford Reserve an extraordinary lead in to the Derby, since the 1 1/8-mile race already had the turf standout Point of Entry as its star attraction.

John Velazquez, who has been the regular rider for Wise Dan, already has committed to Point of Entry for longtime client Shug McGaughey. LoPresti said he is calling again on Jose Lezcano, who rode the 6-year-old Wise Dan to victory in his 2013 debut in the April 12 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland. Velazquez was recovering from injury when Lezcano subbed for him in the Maker’s 46 Mile.

A handful of other older horses is expected for the Woodford Reserve, including Jeranimo, Optimizer, Silver Max, and Slim Shadey.

The Woodford is the middle leg in the two-day pick three offered by Churchill Downs that starts with the Kentucky Oaks on Friday and ends with the Derby on Saturday. Last year, handle on the Oaks-Woodford-Derby pick three was $642,736.

Abstraction may go in Preakness

Trainer David Carroll said Monday at Churchill that no decision will be made until after the Derby about the Preakness status of Abstraction, the Pulpit colt who was impressive Saturday in winning the Tesio Stakes at Pimlico as an odds-on favorite.

Abstraction, owned by the My Meadowview Farm of Len Riggio, would have to be supplemented to the Triple Crown for a $100,000 late fee to become eligible for the May 18 Preakness.

Attendance down on opening night

Saturday’s opening-night attendance of 21,038 was met with satisfaction by Churchill officials, considering how cold and rainy the weather was. As usual, much of the crowd was comprised of young locals who took keen interest in the social aspect of the event.

This was the third year that Churchill has opened the spring meet under the lights. Attendance was 38,142 in 2011 and 26,527 last year. The track will host three more Downs After Dark programs June 15, 22, and 29.

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Lord, hold the rains please!
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
The G1 Woodford Reserve does not get taken off the turf no matter the ground condition. Both horses have run well on very firm to very soft going.
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
Easy money - Point of Entry does not have the turn of foot to go with Wise Dan in a 9f turf race, which in America is almost like a 8f race. I hope he gets hammered like Excelebration in the BC Mile, and to a lesser extent Cityscape in the Woodbine Mile. There were many wiseguys who seriously thought they could beat Wise Dan. By the time Point of Entry gets within 2L, Wise Dan will be asked to go and open up 4-5L in a few strides. Point of Entry keeps coming and it will be Wise Dan by a measured length or two under the wire.
Eddie Smith More than 1 year ago
Point of Entry smoked Animal Kingdom by running the final 3/8 of a 9f turf race in 33.51 When Wise Dan is reaching the end of his stamina pool in the 9th furlong, Point of Entry will have plenty in the tank.
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
If Point of Entry runs the first 3 quarters in 1:13, he would be about 12L behind Wise Dan at the 3/8 pole. Wise Dan kicks on and win by a measured length or two, exactly my point. Easy money. Go ahead, please bet Point of Entry.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
if you thihk point of entry is going to be 12L behind at the 3/8 pole maybe its time to get another hobby
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
Problem with contextual quote or reading comprehension? That wasn't the heart of my scenario.
Perl More than 1 year ago
It's gonna be a classic. I favor POE but I could see it going either way. Weather will play a factor. If it's raining during the race, the strong edge goes to Wise Dan. Tough to real in class like that on a slippery turf course.
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
What a great matchup!!! Wise Dan is HOY and Point Of Entry was sure not put into a bad light by AK's desert foray. Tight 7F course at Churchill. Who does that benefit?? Funny Barry Irwin blurt very shortly after Dubai Classic win to the effect that Rosario rode AK like an idiot/block head last time(in his loss to POE...early move???...who knows) but did a much better job tonite.
Maria Vorhauer More than 1 year ago
Safe trip to all,hope the weather holds up! Wise Dan can handle this,he comming back in less then 4 weeks came out the race good,JV will be looking at him saying there he goes!!
redboy More than 1 year ago
Barn-burner no Doubtt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last year it was Shackleford vs Amazombie. Now Point of Entry vs Wise Dan Have to love the first Saturday in May
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
horse racing is thriving huh...weather was NOT that bad ..Derby week/opening night and only 21k?? quality of racing opening night was pathetic..."met with satisfaction"??? seriously..38k>26.5k>21K?????? looks like a bad pattern to me
Perl More than 1 year ago
The weather was supposedly horrible. Plus the 38k was for the debut of night racing.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Thanks for your bright outlook.
Mark More than 1 year ago
JV takes off HOY for Shug but not Verrazano ....
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
JV had was committed to ride verrazano
Mark More than 1 year ago
Exactly . Once he won the Tampa derby he knew who his derby winner was.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Just like when he first worked UR last year before Belmont . He knew what he had under him .
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
It's because Wise Dan wasn't pointing to this race, and not expected to run. JV was never Derby committed to Orb and Shug knew it. That's why he was able to secure Rosario so quickly, which certainly seems like a blessing right now
matt More than 1 year ago
He didn't take off him, idiot
Mark More than 1 year ago
He didn't get back on did he ?
Alex More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan beat Point of Entry's understudy last out.. now he has to face the master himself. Point of Entry will win.
Philip C More than 1 year ago
I agree!
Van Cushny More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is waaaaaaay over-rated
Charles Levy More than 1 year ago
Perl More than 1 year ago
Well Van, I can't agree with you on that one. What more does he have to do? Heck, I think POE can take him, but it wouldn't surprise me if Dan wins this one and even if he finishes seconod he has had one heck of a run.
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
overrated, you have been drinking mint juleps already, he will beat this field by 2-3 lengths.
Jef Fawell More than 1 year ago
Point of Entry, Jeronimo , & Wise Dan in tri box
Perl More than 1 year ago
That could pay huge!
Jef Fawell More than 1 year ago
I think it can,as long Wise Dan doesn't win (they may make him the fa) I think hr can be beat. Velasquez and Castellano
Vinod Jhangimal More than 1 year ago
LOL I actually like Silver Max to run a huge race. If he remembers his better days, he could be right in the thick of it. Still, Wise Dan and Point of Entry are far, far superior and should be the first two place finishers. But that's why the races are run and not paid out at time of entry.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Max is one of my favorites and I'm not 'dissin him with this... He's all guts on the lead but he's gonna get his air tested with these Horses.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Strictly a two-horse race. I will find value elsewhere, but this one should be a joy to watch. Two of the best American turfers in over a decade going head-to-head. Gotta love it. Let's hope they run well and come home sound.
Jef Fawell More than 1 year ago
Hi five to you Perl, Iam more excited @ this race than the Derby actually, cuz I love TURF RACING!!!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
'Joy to watch' - yeah man, let's put some of that back in the game. Safe trips and good luck to all.
Perl More than 1 year ago
What a showdown! They should run this in prime time instead of the Derby. (j/k)
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to this one!