05/01/2013 4:09PM

Churchill Downs: Woodford Reserve pits Wise Dan vs. Point of Entry

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Wise Dan, winning the Maker's 46 Mile, will try for his fifth straight Grade 1 victory in Saturday's Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Don’t count trainer Shug McGaughey among those excited to see defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan take on Point of Entry in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs.

“I could care less about Wise Dan,” McGaughey, the trainer of Point of Entry, said Wednesday morning.

[2013 KENTUCKY DERBY: Get PPs, contender profiles, live updates]

McGaughey is just focused on his horse, Point of Entry, who will take on Wise Dan and seven others in the Woodford Reserve at 1 1/8 miles over the Churchill turf course. Point of Entry drew post 9 while Wise Dan will break from post 8.

Point of Entry, who had a five-race winning streak snapped when second to Little Mike in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, kicked off his season with a win over Animal Kingdom in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Wise Dan seeks his fifth consecutive Grade 1 victory and his sixth straight win overall in the Woodford. Wise Dan last lost in the Stephen Foster, a race on dirt here last June.

Wise Dan, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile over Animal Kingdom, launched his 6-year-old season with a win over the McGaughey-trained Data Link in the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland three weeks ago.

Jose Lezcano, who subbed for an injured John Velazquez in that race, will be back aboard Wise Dan Saturday as Velazquez is committed to ride Point of Entry. Both horses will carry 124 pounds.

The rest of the field consists of Jeranimo, Optimizer, Silver Max, Slim Shadey, Bim Bam and Middie.

◗ The McGaughey-trained Hungry Island will seek to repeat Saturday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Distaff Turf Mile, a race that drew four Grade 1 winners among a 10-horse field.

Hungry Island has yet to capture a Grade 1, but she won this race by a length last year and is coming off a solid allowance victory at Keeneland in which she beat Karlovy Vary, one of the Grade 1 winners in this field.

The Distaff Turf Mile marks the return to the races of Marketing Mix, who won the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive last September at Santa Anita before finishing second to Zagora in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Stephanie’s Kitten, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf over this course in 2011, and Daisy Devine, the 2012 Jenny Wiley winner, are the other Grade 1 winners in this field.

Class Included, who was entered in Friday’s La Troienne on dirt, is cross-entered in here.

◗ Trinniberg, last year’s champion sprinter, bombed in his 4-year-old debut in Dubai, finishing 11th in the Golden Shaheen.

His connections wasted little time bringing him back to the races, entering him in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Churchill Downs Sprint.

He will break from post 8 in a nine-horse field that includes Delaunay, who has won five consecutive listed stakes, and Unbridled’s Note, second in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande at Santa Anita last out.

Also entered are Night Party, Hierro, Laurie’s Rocket, Handsome Mike, Pass the Dice and Politicallycorrect.

◗ In the last 20 years, Allen Jerkens has started only five horses at Churchill Downs, all without success.

Saturday, the Hall of Fame trainer will send out Emma’s Encore in the Grade 1, $300,000 Humana Distaff for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

Emma’s Encore, owned by Brenda Mercer and Peter Berglar, is the only Grade 1 winner in the field, having captured the Prioress at Saratoga last summer. Emma’s Encore is winless in five starts since the Prioress and is coming off a third in the Inside Information at Gulfstream.

Rumor, winner of the Grade 3 Las Flores at Santa Anita last out, and Aubby K, the winner of the Inside Information, top the contenders.

On Wednesday, Emma’s Encore blew out a half-mile in 47.88 seconds at Churchill.

◗ The 9-year-old Chamberlain Bridge will make his fifth consecutive start in the Grade 3, $125,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at five furlongs. He won the race in 2009 followed by a second, third, and sixth.

Heading the list of contenders are Regally Ready, who won this race in 2011; Havelock, winner of the Shakertown at Keeneland last out; and Icon Ike, who is 2 for 2 in listed turf sprint stakes this year.


KeyonRMitchell More than 1 year ago
This will be WD's second race off of about a 6 month layoff, he should be sharper this time than he was in the Makers. He will be on the lead after they straighten up and POE will have to come get him.
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
We won't get to see it live, of course. As usual. Thanks NBC.
P More than 1 year ago
Has it been confirmed that NBC won't air this race?
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
I've never seen them do it before. But if Tom Hammond moves his head we might get to see the post parade.
Alan Grant More than 1 year ago
Neither will race at optimum distance - Dan never having raced at 1 1/8th and PoE better at longer, though having won last over Animal Kingdom at day's distance. Edge to PoE
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Why? No one else does.
Roy Roy More than 1 year ago
Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry Point of Entry
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
So who do you like there, Roy Roy?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Love both Wise Dan and POE. But current form I believe gives POE the edge as he just beat The Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom. Great match races this year between these two if Dan stays on turf.
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
Point of Entry beat Animal Kingdom by 1.25L driving. Wise Dan beat Animal Kingdom by 1.5L......eased as he hit the wire.
Philip C More than 1 year ago
If the race was an 1/8 of a mile longer Animal Kingdom would've ran by Wise Dan.
Steve More than 1 year ago
Not a chance. Wise Dan want getting tired, he was eased. That's not even considering wise Dan was worse around the far turn while ak, cut through everybody along the rail
Steve More than 1 year ago
Wasn't getting tired
Philip C More than 1 year ago
You might want to watch that race again and check out the chart. Wise Dan was still being urged to the wire. Now that I think of it Animal Kingdom would have won if he didn't lack room at the top of the stretch.
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
I thought Wise Dan was a terrible pick for HOY last year and was the third best grass horse behind Little Mike and POE but if he beats Point of Entry here I'll have to tip my hat to him.
John Piassek More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan not as good as Little Mike? Shirley you can't be serious.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I believe he his and please stop calling him Shirley.
Maria Vorhauer More than 1 year ago
Get ready to tip your hat!
Tony Murabito More than 1 year ago
Nice card Saturday
Matt More than 1 year ago
Jeranimo will shock the World!
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't be shocked. He's run some monster races. Problem with Jeronimo is that he can't string them together. He'll definitely need some pace.
Randy Atkins More than 1 year ago
I hope he does...but he's had his problems outside of Calif
Perl More than 1 year ago
Good luck. I doubt he's good enough. But it's a gutty call.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish Little Mike be in this race, then will be a classic
Perl More than 1 year ago
It's already a classic. Little Mike would get crushed by both of these.