Updated on 10/09/2012 12:44PM

Keeneland: Wise Dan dominant in Shadwell Turf Mile

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
With Jose Lezcano riding, Wise Dan powers home in the Shadwell Turf Mile.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Eliciting superlatives once more, Wise Dan dominated the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on a sunny day at Keeneland to entrench himself further as quite possibly the best horse in North America this year.

With Jose Lezcano keeping the 5-year-old gelding out of trouble throughout the trip, Wise Dan circled into contention leaving the final turn and powered to a 2 1/4-length triumph in the $750,000 Shadwell, the richest race of the Keeneland fall meet.

Wise Dan returned $3.20 after finishing in 1:34.94 over a firm course. Willcox Inn, a 48-1 shot, ran on to be second, another 2 3/4 lengths before Slip and Drive, a 100-1 shot. Doubles Partner was fourth in the field of 12.

"I really liked how he relaxed today," said an ecstatic Charlie Lopresti, who trains Wise Dan for owner-breeder Morton Fink. "He's good. He's really good."

Wise Dan now has won 4 of 5 starts this year and will head to Santa Anita as the likely favorite for the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Mile, a race that Lopresti said he and Fink are "leaning toward" in favor of the BC Classic the same day.

[Breeders’ Cup Challenge 2012: Replays of all the Win and You’re In races]

"He keeps showing us how good he is on the grass," said Lopresti. "We'll keep our options open for the Classic, but right now I think we'd go in the Mile."

The Shadwell was a Win and You're In event toward the BC Mile, so entry fees and shipping expenses will be paid for the trip to California.

Wise Dan, a Kentucky-bred by Wiseman's Ferry, has now had 19 races, winning 12, several of them in eye-popping fashion. He has regularly earned some of the highest Beyer Speed Figures in North America this year, including a 117 in the Ben Ali over the Keeneland Polytrack in April. The $450,000 winner's share lifted his career bankroll to $2,461,638.

On a cool but bright afternoon, and before an ontrack crowd of 22,292,Wise Dan rated in fifth through the early going while Lezcano made sure to keep him out of trouble. Down the backstretch, Lezcano maneuvered him to the outside, and after that, it was all clear sailing. They began picking off rivals one by one, getting past the fading early leader, Silver Max, and then Dominus, before quickly speeding away with powerful strides and opening up 3 1/2 lengths passing the furlong pole.

"I got a very good trip," said Lezcano, who was filling in for regular rider John Velazquez, who was otherwise occupied at Belmont Park.

After the top four, the full order was Data Link, Dominus, Corporate Jungle, Swift Warrior, Silver Max, Skyring, Worthadd, and Ol Army.

The $2 exacta (5-4) paid $66, the $1 trifecta returned (5-4-8) returned $963.80, and the dime superfecta was worth $560.66.