10/06/2013 12:09PM

Keeneland: Wise Dan, Groupie Doll headed to Breeders' Cup despite losses

Coady Photography
Silver Max will have a rematch with Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Turf after beating him in the Shadwell Turf Mile (above).

LEXINGTON, Ky. – All the major players from an incredibly eventful Saturday of stakes racing at Keeneland were reported in good order Sunday morning, with the camps of a pair of vanquished champions, Wise Dan and Groupie Doll, saying they already are putting the disappointments behind them while looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Wise Dan was defeated for the first time in 10 races when Silver Max held him off for a 1 1/4-length triumph in the richest race of the 17-day fall meet, the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, which was transferred to the Polytrack at 1 1/16 miles because of wet conditions. Several downpours made for an adventurous afternoon for the 27,849 on hand, not to mention for the horses and their connections.

“Those were not ideal conditions [Saturday],” said Charlie LoPresti, who trains Wise Dan, the 2012 Horse of the Year, for Mort Fink. “I was a little disappointed that he lost, but he never stopped trying and was gaining on the winner. I looked at the Trakus after the race and it showed he ran 40 feet farther than the winner. That computes to losing about four lengths.”

Wise Dan will run next in the BC Mile, which is set for Nov. 2 on the Santa Anita turf. Wise Dan won it last year in clinching Horse of the Year honors. LoPresti said Wise Dan will follow a travel schedule identical to last year, flying to California on the Tuesday (Oct. 29) of Breeders’ Cup week.

The original Equibase chart showed the Shadwell as a Grade 2, down from its original Grade 1 ranking, but that is only because it is the policy of the American Graded Stakes Committee to downgrade a race by one notch in the case of a surface switch. But by Monday morning, the committee already had restored the race to a Grade 1. The Grade 3 Bourbon was rained off the turf on Sunday, and it also retained its graded status. Neither race had any late scratches.

Meanwhile, trainer Dale Romans said Silver Max, the front-running winner in his first synthetics start, very likely will have a rematch with Wise Dan in the BC Mile. The Shadwell was designated a Win and You're In race for the Mile, but that designation was rescinded because of the surface switch.

[BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Win and You’re In schedule and results]

Wise Dan was the 1-2 favorite in a field of 10 in the Shadwell. Those were exactly the same odds for Groupie Doll three races earlier when she finished third with no apparent excuse behind Judy the Beauty and Gypsy Robin in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, a six-furlong Polytrack race.

“We’re disappointed, but we’re really looking forward to getting back to seven furlongs on the dirt,” said Groupie Doll's trainer, Buff Bradley, referring to the conditions of the Nov. 2 BC Filly and Mare Sprint, which Groupie Doll won last year as an overwhelming choice as divisional champion.

Judy the Beauty earned a Win and You’re In berth to the Filly-Mare Sprint and definitely will run, said trainer Wesley Ward, while Gypsy Robin is “not likely” for the race, said trainer Mike Puype.

“She’s substantially better on synthetic,” he added. “She ran too good to lose.”

These are the notable Beyer Figures from the five Saturday stakes at Keeneland: Silver Max, 108; Wise Dan, 106; Judy the Beauty, 100; Groupie Doll, 95; Better Lucky (First Lady), 98; Havelock (Woodford), 97; We Miss Artie (Breeders’ Futurity), 70.

IRANIANMULLAH More than 1 year ago
Groupie dolll is a throwout. Has had problems all year long. Wise Dan is still good, Im throwing thsat race out, wondering what Euros come. Since Moonlight Cloud is afraid of 2 turns, Wise Dan may be the favorite
Robert Davies More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan was wide for 3/4's of the race and ran 40' further than the winner (per Trackus) so, if he had a better post or better racing luck going into the first turn he likely would have won by a couple of lengths. He looked strong all the way to the finish, going 1/16 further than the scheduled turf distance. Credit to Silver Max though he ran a big race.
ron More than 1 year ago
I feel honored to be able to read this for FREE!
Five More than 1 year ago
Looking at the probables, at this time, I am confidently calling, the 2 ultra-favorites, the Dude and Wise Dan will NOT win their respective races. You hear it here first.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
We probably did not hear it first from you. Lol
Perl More than 1 year ago
Anyone can pick against a horse.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
If they dont go to BC, BC loses money, so they can lose and make it in. Got it?
Five More than 1 year ago
jon g More than 1 year ago
GD is done,that happens to fillies. WD is still the favorite in the mile,but with 14 horses and a few Euros he's far from being a cinch.Definately not a single,but needs to be played
Perl More than 1 year ago
Way to go out on a limb.
jon g More than 1 year ago
Why would I go out on a limb when there's no reason to ?????
not impressed More than 1 year ago
Nice to know all the stories are paid access again except this one. This is ridiculous.
jay More than 1 year ago
What a dumb headline.
Guy John More than 1 year ago
Totally Agree! WD lost on a wet poly track at 1 1/16m. This was the only way he was going to get beat because he would have scratched on a soggy turf course. He's probably the worlds best firm turf miler. Chances are the BC will be firm; therefore, WD will go off at 3-5 and most likely roll.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
Interesting and wise to say Dan is the "worlds best firm turf miler" as the Euro's do not run on anything remotely close to what we call firm turf.
Perl More than 1 year ago
He has run quite well on less-than-firm turf.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
WDan was 9-5 last year, just got beat by underlayed Max at only 9-1.. WDans Fans might get 2-1 this year :-)
John Karczewski More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has followed Silver Max should have been all over him in this race. He wired the field in the Open Verse at 1 1/16 that was taken off the turf and run on the main track and won by like 8+. He wired the Oceanport G3 at Monmouth at 1 1/16 on a day with some rain. He wired the field in the Bernard Baruch Gr.2 on a rainy turf course in his last out, Oh yeah that was at a 1 1/16. See a trend? Rain at Keeneland, Shadwell gets moved off the turf switches to 1 1/16 sound familiar?(Max 3 for 3 this year at 1 1/16 rainy tracks), plus frontrunners usually do well in the rain on the main track, I run to the window and cash big on Silver Max. I take nothing away from Wise Dan though, he ran his race, nobody was going to catch Silver Max after those pedestrian fractions on that race track.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
Anyone paying attention to the comments being made by his connections prior to the race should have taken note! They practically said he was going to beat WD. If Moonlight Cloud comes over for the Mile...it will be the best race on the card!
Jeff Joseph More than 1 year ago
is groupie doll ready for book review; moonlight cloud has won another one overseas. will she travel over for the turf mile, i certainly hope so.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I was watching HRTV Friday night and it looks like Moonlight Cloud is coming.