04/21/2013 5:55PM

Keeneland: Successful Dan gets away with slow fractions in Ben Ali

Barbara D. Livingston
Making his first start since last June, Successful Dan and Julien Leparoux win the Grade 3 Ben Ali.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Just like his younger half-brother, Horse of the Year Wise Dan, Successful Dan kicked off 2013 as a winner, taking the Grade 3, $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes by a length over Boisterous on Sunday at Keeneland.

Successful Dan’s win came nine days after Wise Dan won his 2013 bow in the Grade 1 Makers 46 Mile at Keeneland.

The race unfolded perfectly for Successful Dan, who was able to cruise to the lead from his inside post, and establish dawdling fractions of 50.18 seconds and 1:16.05 in the 1 1/8-mile Ben Ali on Keeneland’s Polytrack.

Asked to quicken midway on the final turn, Successful Dan opened up on the field, and though Boisterous rallied from fourth to threaten Successful Dan in midstretch, he wasn’t able to get closer than a length in the final sixteenth.

“They let me go very slow the first part of it,” winning rider Julien Leparoux said. “I knew at the three-eighths pole there was no way they could catch me.”

The winner, a 7-year-old gelded son of Successful Appeal owned and bred by Mort Fink, raced 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.14. He paid $3.60 as the favorite in a field reduced to six when Golden Ticket was scratched.

Following Boisterous was Richard’s Kid in third, 6 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up. Son of a General, Hattaash,  and Stephanaotsee completed the order of finish.

Well prepped off the bench by trainer Charlie LoPresti, Successful Dan was victorious despite not having raced since June 30 when second to eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned in the Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows.

“At Saratoga he had some filling in his pastern – probably I could have run him,” LoPresti said, explaining the time off. “But you want them to be 100 percent with a horse of this caliber.”

LoPresti said the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 15 would be considered for Successful Dan’s next race, but a race there would be contingent on what racing plans are drawn up for Wise Dan, who ran second in the Foster last year after winning the Ben Ali. Lopresti trains both horses for Fink.

Attendance on a cool, sunny day was 20,244.

Maker ties record with 16th win

Earlier Sunday, Mike Maker trained his 16th winner of the meet, matching a Keeneland spring meet record, when favored Kingsford Drive won the third race.

His 16th victory matched a mark set by Todd Pletcher during the spring meet in 2005. The overall record, counting spring and fall meets, is 22, established by D. Wayne Lukas in the fall of 1989.

Maker, comfortably on his way to win the spring training title with the meet concluding Friday, had two chances to claim the outright spring record on Sunday after Kingsford Drive’s victory in race 3, but Barrio Baby and Always Kitten each ran fourth in races 6 and 7, respectively.

Kingsford Drive’s victory came for Maker’s principal clients, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, themselves record-establishing owners this spring at Keeneland. The Ramseys and Maker have combined for 13 victories together at the meet.

Maker’s next opportunity to solely establish the spring-meet record comes Wednesday, when he has six horses entered in five races.




John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Byron, there is a difference between "got away with slow fractions" and nobody was willing to challenge SD and run themselves into defeat. Will say that Shug's horse made a nice run and proved himself on "poly".
Sharjil Ahmad More than 1 year ago
I guess this sport needs some more geldings. Otherwise all we see are young fragile colts, who run their hearts out in a race or two. Then either injure and retire, or run in big races with no shot, finally win a graded stakes or so and retire and produce babies that are as fragile as their sires were. Whereas these older geldings show the real face of this sport. Toughness, sturdiness, will to fight injury and comeback and run their hearts out once more. Thats what thoroughbreds really are. Tough.......
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
It's awesome to see the Dan brothers and Game on dude back this year and better than ever. Now if we can get Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man back on track, maybe Flat Out rounds back into form in New York, Nehro comes back strong, and others emerge from the Florida races and 3 year old crop, maybe we'll actually have a Breeders Cup Classic worth remembering!
Sharjil Ahmad More than 1 year ago
May be we'll have a breeders cup worth watching.
MD23 More than 1 year ago
Poor Richard's Kid. I don't mean to sound like a jerk but this is the epitomy of owners not doing what's right for the horse. It's time to find him a good home where he can run around in the pastures, chill out, and enjoy the rest of his life.
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
why? hes still placing in 100k races. It's not like he ran last. He was 3rd. hes still a competitive animal. Sure he's lost a step. But he's still one of the best in the business.
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
one of the best horses in the business? wow
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
hes very similar to awesome gem
Perl More than 1 year ago
class drop?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Last year it was reported by Drf that he had a suspensory tare. They sent him home for therapy and time to heal. Nice job. Glad he came back sound at seven. That's not an easy task.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Nothing beats giving them back to Mother Nature for awhile. Remember when they all got turned out for 3-4 months a year?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Some still do. But its rare. I remember those days though when the horses got to unwind and recoup properly.
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
What has happened to Richard's Kid ??? Easier field an even a worse performance than before
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Getting long in the tooth. And doesn't have the benefits of Bafferts training "methods"
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Retire the poor horse. Doug just can't get over this issue for whatever the reason.
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
he got old. but as long as he's still competitive, which a third place effort against two top notch horses indicates, they should keep running him. He reminds of of Awesome Gem at old age. Keeps placing and gives fans a familiar face on the racetrack. Racing needs more Richard Kid's. We need more horses that are competitive past age 4
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
Thought Boisterous ran terrific closing on a good horse with zero pace to run at. Would guess the Hollywood Gold Cup would be next if Shug wants to keep him on synth.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Successful Dan to come back a winner. The whole Wise Dan / Successful Dan thing is really cool and it's hard not to like Mr Fink and Charlie Lopresti. They have done a fine job managing these two terrific horses. Kudos fellas.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
don't forget about casino dan, he came in 2nd