08/12/2013 4:43PM

DRF Breeding Weekend Wrap: Wise Dan extends his winning streak, Dice Flavor scores at Del Mar

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Barbara D. Livingston
Wise Dan extended his winning streak to eight with an impressive score in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on Saturday at Saratoga, his second consecutive win in the one-mile turf race.

Last weekend offered a comparatively light graded stakes schedule in North America compared to what came before and what’s on the immediate horizon, but there was no shortage of star power as reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan returned to the Saratoga turf in an attempt to score a repeat win in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap, and champion female sprinter Groupie Doll made her first appearance of 2013 in the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park, a race she won in 2011.

Wise Dan’s 1 1/4-length win over stubborn pacesetter King Kresa was his eighth in a row – all in graded stakes – since coming up short by a head to Ron the Greek in last summer’s Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill. Carrying 129 pounds, 11 more than his closest competitor, the 6-year-old Wiseman's Ferry gelding completed the Fourstardave’s mile in 1:34 on good turf and earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure.

If he continues to rack up stakes wins following trainer Charlie LoPresti’s path to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita – with a start in Keeneland's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile along the way – Wise Dan should be right back in the discussion for Horse of the Year honors. Furthermore, if his half-brother Successful Dan can take the next step following his strong runner-up effort in the August 2 Whitney Invitational, the “Dans” could also give their dam, the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle, a solid chance to repeat as Broodmare of the Year.

Groupie Doll’s Gardenia comeback did not meet expectations, to say the least, but it was far from a wasted effort. The 5-year-old daughter of Bowman’s Band appeared to be geared up for a blowout win at the top of the stretch in the one-mile dirt stakes as she loomed to the outside of front-runners Magic Hour and Devious Intent. Groupie Doll flattened out in the final furlong, finishing third behind Devious Intent, but beaten only a length. Trainer Buff Bradley said that the racemare would point to the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes on Sept. 9 for her next start, with a return engagement in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint the long-term goal.

Devious Intent tallied her first graded stakes win in Ellis’ signature race, edging Magic Hour by a neck. The 4-year-old Dixie Union filly covered one mile in 1:34.97, good for a 90 Beyer (Magic Hour, by Awesome Again, also earned a 90; Groupie Doll earned an 88). Bred in Kentucky by Robert and Kimberly Bain, she is out of the unraced Machiavellian mare Hafifah and is a three-quarter sister to Virgil Caine, by Dixieland Band, who is stakes-placed in Singapore. Grade 3 winners Runspastum, Lech and Savina and Panamanian champion Mr. Tommy are other notable family members.

In the Grade 2 La Jolla at Del Mar, Dice Flavor picked up his second graded stakes win with a stout rally under Garrett Gomez, defeating Den’s Legacy by a half-length. The Scat Daddy colt, winner of the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta Footings earlier this year, covered 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:39.82 and notched a Beyer Speed Figure of 88. He improved his career record to three wins from nine starts and $274,500 in earnings.

Dice Flavor is out of the Afleet mare Afleet Summer, and is a half-brother to multiple Grade 3 winner Swift Warrior and stakes winner Carolina Sky. The colt was purchased by co-owner Nobuo Oda for $100,000 last year at the Barretts May 2-year-olds in training sale.

Dice Flavor is one of several accomplished horses in training for Ashford Stud’s Scat Daddy, who has emerged as a promising young sire whose runners have been productive on all surfaces and in Europe as well as North America. On Monday, prominent British owner Michael Tabor purchased an interest in No Nay Never, a promising Scat Daddy juvenile winner at Royal Ascot earlier this summer, in advance for the colt's planned start in the Group 1 Prix Morny in France on Aug. 18.

Weekend notes: Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl also picked up her second graded stakes win and rebounded from a disappointing effort in the Arlington Park Oaks last month with a front-running six-length score in the Grade 3 Monmouth Park Oaks. The 3-year-old daughter of WinStar Farm’s second-crop stallion Spring At Last covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.04, good for a 95 Beyer.

The winner of last fall’s Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill, Seaneen Girl improved her overall career record to three wins from 13 starts and $343,636 in earnings. Bred in Kentucky by John Trumbulovic, she is out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Afternoon Krystal, who has produced two other winners and is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed stakes winner Red Raymond.

The most exciting race of the weekend involved two promising juveniles dueling to the finish in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Sunday. Corfu, who topped the Barretts March select 2-year-olds in training sale this spring at $675,000 and won his debut at the Spa on July 25, reeled off a blistering :44.02 half-mile while being stalked by Sanford winner Wired Bryan and fought valiantly with that foe through the final sixteenth to prevail by a nose. Corfu stopped the clock in 1:15.57 for 6 1/2 furlongs and earned an 82 Beyer figure.

Trainer Todd Pletcher told Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch that he would consider running Corfu in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 2, closing day at Saratoga. The colt is owned by the Coolmore-affiliated partnership of Michael Tabor, John Magnier, and Derrick Smith and was purchased by Magnier’s bloodstock advisor Demi O’Byrne at Barretts.

Corfu is by Spendthrift Farms’ Malibu Moon, sire of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who currently resides in second place on the North American general sire list for 2013 with over $7.1 million in earnings through August 11. The bay colt is out of the winning Forest Wildcat mare Fashion Cat, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and 2003 Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Peace Rules and stakes winner Wild Fashion.

Matthew Linda Jr. More than 1 year ago
The $15K 'FREE BET' and Steven tout ?? what happened ???
Horserion More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is he the next John Henry? He seems to be getting better with age.