09/29/2012 11:44AM

Keeneland: Decision time nears for Wise Dan

Michael Burns
Trainer Charlie Lopresti is trying to decide whether to run Wise Dan in Saturday's Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland or wait for the Breeders' Cup.

Trainer Charlie Lopresti said Wise Dan remains “on the fence” for the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Saturday after having his first workout since romping to victory in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

Lopresti said he and Morton Fink, the owner-breeder of Wise Dan, will “have a long talk in the next few days” about whether to run Wise Dan in the Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell, the richest race of the 17-day Keeneland fall meet that starts Friday.

“This is really a tough call,” Lopresti said Saturday, the morning after Wise Dan breezed a half-mile in 47.40 seconds over the Polytrack at Keeneland. “If we go in the Shadwell, we take a chance of not being able to go back in the Breeders’ Cup [Mile]. What if he runs huge again and knocks himself out?”

Wise Dan, the No. 1-rated horse in the latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll, comes off smashing victories in the Grade 2 Fourstardave on Aug. 11 and the Sept. 16 Woodbine Mile. The 5-year-old gelding has won 5 of his last 6 races, with a head defeat to Ron the Greek in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster being the only blemish.

Entries for the Shadwell will be taken on Wednesday.

[KEENELAND: Get opening-day PPs, watch Friday's full card live]

“I want this to be Mr. Fink’s decision,” said Lopresti. “I’ll do whatever he wants to do. The horse is doing great. I jogged him around there a couple of times this morning and it was like he was on springs. If we do run in the Shadwell, I’d almost be inclined not to go to California and just run in the Clark [in November at Churchill Downs] and then put him away for the year again. I don’t know. I’ll have an answer for you in a couple days.”

One more factor in the decision is that John Velazquez, the regular rider of Wise Dan, is unavailable for the Shadwell because of commitments at Belmont Park the same day.

The Shadwell is one of five Grade 1 races, and nine graded events, to be run on the three-day FallStars Weekend that opens the 17-day meet. Opening day is Friday.