02/26/2014 9:54AM

Keeneland: Wise Dan has first work, may run at spring meet

Barbara D. Livingston
Winter weather in Kentucky has cost Wise Dan some training time this year.

Wise Dan, the reigning two-time Horse of the Year, is back on a breeze schedule at Keeneland and is tentatively on target to make his first start as a 7-year-old at his home track.

“We’re a little farther behind compared to last year because of how bad the weather’s been,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said Wednesday by phone from Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. “But if we can make it, we’ll start him off right here. We try to make the spring meet with all our horses.”

Wise Dan breezed three furlongs Monday in 36 seconds over the Polytrack surface, according to LoPresti. Clockers do not work on an everyday basis during the off-season at Keeneland, and the time was according to LoPresti.

“He just went around there nice and easy in 12’s,” said LoPresti. “I just needed to start doing a little something with him.”

LoPresti said weather and track conditions will continue to determine the work schedule for Wise Dan. “I’m not the kind of guy who has to work them every six or seven days,” he said. “It’ll all be up to the usual factors.”

A winter break is de rigueur for Wise Dan and the LoPresti stable. Wise Dan returned to his Rice Road stable at Keeneland around the first of February after about 10 weeks of down time on LoPresti’s farm just east of Lexington.

Turf races in the one-mile range have been a specialty for Wise Dan in his two championship seasons (2012-13), but owner-breeder Morton Fink and LoPresti both have said they intend to try different types of races with the gelding as 2014 unfolds. LoPresti did not specify which Keeneland race he would target for Wise Dan, although the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile on April 11 is a logical starting point.

“If we don’t get anymore interruptions in weather – and we’ve missed quite a few days – my goal is to run here,” he said. “But if I don’t think he’s 100 percent ready, we may have to do something else.”

Wise Dan, by Wiseman’s Ferry, has 19 wins from 27 starts and earnings of $6,293,610.