05/24/2013 1:10PM

Churchill Downs: Wise Dan possible for Firecracker

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Tom Keyser
Wise Dan is tentatively scheduled to race at Saratoga in August (the Fourstardave and/or Bernard Baruch) and Woodbine (Ricoh Mile) in September as final Breeders’ Cup preps.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Charlie LoPresti said he is seriously considering the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap on the final weekend of the Churchill Downs spring meet as the next race for Wise Dan, the 2012 Horse of the Year who is unbeaten in two starts this year.

The $150,000 Firecracker, scheduled for a mile on turf, is set for June 29.

“It’s just an option, just something we’re thinking about,” LoPresti said Friday from his Keeneland base. He added that owner-breeder Morton Fink “mentioned that we’ve got a long way to wait for Saratoga, and although I’m not having any trouble keeping him on the ground, it is something to think about. It’d be something to tick him over until Saratoga.”

The Breeders’ Cup – which race is as of yet unspecified – in early November is the year-end goal for Wise Dan, so LoPresti is working backward from there. LoPresti already has plotted out tentative races at Saratoga in August (the Fourstardave and/or Bernard Baruch) and Woodbine (Ricoh Mile) in September as the final BC preps for Wise Dan.

LoPresti considered the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on the Churchill dirt but instead has committed Wise Dan’s older half-brother, Successful Dan, to that June 15 race.

“We don’t want to have to run them against each other if we can help it,” he said.

Wise Dan clinched Horse of the Year honors last fall by winning the BC Mile. To begin this year, the 6-year-old gelding won a pair of Grade 1 turf races, the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland in April and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the May 4 Kentucky Derby undercard.

therealdubwhite More than 1 year ago
Are u referring to the Point of Entry who has wins at 10 & 12 furlongs as opposed to the Miler known as Wise Dan???
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Why would he face off against POE on his home turf, preferred distance, and the likelihood that somebody sticks a rabbit in there just to screw Wise Dan?
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Will Point of Entry keep dodging Wise Dan, the MONSTER?
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Keep him around as long as possible and run in 1 or 2 big races a year mixed in with the glorified workouts. I don't need to see another Christmas Boy.
Edward More than 1 year ago
Why can't he be criticized for making a campaign built around winning one major race? No one is telling him how to train the horse, they are saying it is way too conservative and UNSPORTING of them. He could win way better races which is better for his fans, the game of racing and his legacy with legitimate argument as to why he shouldn't.
Edward More than 1 year ago
No legitimate argument as to why the equal to a Major League baseball All-star is playing in double A ball.
aspalding1973 More than 1 year ago
What's wrong with the Firecracker? Miesque Approval won that race before the BC win that fall. He's doing fine..I don't believe too many will take a "crack" at him
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
The campaign is built around several major races, culminating in the Breeder's Cup Mile. Don't connections aim for big races like the Derby or the Arc?
nick More than 1 year ago
You want to see a campaign built around several "MAJOR" races? You want to see a campaign? Here is a campaign: 1). Woodford Reserve 2) Shoemaker Mile 3) Arlington Million 4) Joe Hirsch Turf 5) Breeder's Cup Turf Classic. 5 Grade 1 races in a row, 3 wins. That is a campaign. Thank you, Little Mike. Thank you, Dale Romans.
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Little Mike is suspect and so is Romans. Weak G-1's plus the juice factor.
David Banks More than 1 year ago
U arm chair quarterbacks are a joke. If u've never sweated every detail of bringing a horse up to a race and mapped a campaign, u shouldn't have the audacity or stupidity to criticize mr. Lopresti's placements
Eddie Smith More than 1 year ago
Huh... and you are what, his bodyguard?
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
It's fine that they run this horse but he needs to run in bigger and better races than the Firecracker. He will dominate the field. I really don't think another mile turf campaign will make him horse of the year especially if Game On Dude keeps winning the top handicap races. This horse loves to run and they need to point him to much bigger and better races. They could do a turf/dirt campaign with some big grade 1's in mind and then run in BC Classic but we know he can dominate the mile turf races. Point mor aggressively
aspalding1973 More than 1 year ago
He will NEVER get the 1 and 1/4 distance of the classic and he's iffy a bit shorter too. Point of Entry is the best distance turf horse in this country
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
He couldn't beat Little Mike going 1 1/2 miles. How much distance does he need?
nick More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Rafael. I've been saying that for 6 months.
B More than 1 year ago
What's with these people? In the whole country they cannot find a more important or interesting race than a Grade 2 race worth $150,000? I tingle with anticipation. He'll never lose again if they keep him at this level.
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
He faced down Point of Entry @ 1 1/8, until POE dodged him with a lame excuse by Shug.
Eddie Smith More than 1 year ago
A complete joke Wise Dan is in this race... he should be forced to carry 130 lbs.
aspalding1973 More than 1 year ago
It is 150K..not chump change. For a glorified workout. You'd do it too if you owned this horse
Eddie Smith More than 1 year ago
If I owned and/or trained the HOY who already had two G1 wins this year, there is not a chance in the world I would run in an absolutely meaningless G2 race. How about trying 10 furlongs on the turf in the Manhattan for $500k? Or, how about 10 furlong on Cushion Track in the Hollywood Gold Cup for $500k? If he runs in the Firecracker and isn't giving every horse in the field 15 lbs after the weights are announced, the other trainers should boycott the race.
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Stop being a hater. He showed up at Woodford Reserve and Point of Entry ducked him. Can't force reluctant connections to face the BEAST!
Perl More than 1 year ago
Dang Charlie if you are reading this I was hoping you might convince Mr Fink to run him in the Manhattan. Five weeks of rest plus I really would like to see him I the paddock. Thanks in advance!
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Why should be face POE on the latter's home turf, preferred distance and with a possible rabbit just to screw Wise Dan?