10/02/2013 3:44PM

Keeneland: Wise Dan scares few away from Shadwell Turf Mile

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Michael Burns
Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year, won the Woodbine Mile last time out.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Wise Dan has been assigned the outside post in a field of 10 older horses entered in the Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, the richest race of the Keeneland fall meet and one of five graded stakes on a sensational Saturday program.

Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year, will have John Velazquez aboard in the Shadwell, a two-turn race he won last year as a 3-5 favorite. The 6-year-old gelding has won his last nine races and surely will be a huge favorite again as he makes his final start before the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

Regarding the outside post, Wise Dan’s trainer Charlie LoPresti said, “It doesn’t matter to me. Johnny always tells me, ‘Don’t worry about any hole, not even the 1 hole.’ I sure don’t want to be overconfident, but you have to think the horse will have enough speed to place himself in a good spot.”

LoPresti said he was “a little taken aback” at the relatively large number of challengers for Wise Dan. Winning Prize, Summer Front, and Silver Max are among the more well-regarded opponents, while one of the surprise entrants is Hogy, who was entered to run Friday in the Grade 3 Phoenix but probably will be withheld to run in the Shadwell, said trainer Wayne Catalano.

The Shadwell, one of seven Win and You’re In races to be run here this weekend as preps for the Breeders’ Cup, is carded as the ninth of 10 Saturday races and the last of five straight graded stakes. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern, with the Shadwell going at 5:21. In those preceding races:

◗ Grade 1, $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity: An oversubscribed group of 2-year-olds gives this 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race an extraordinarily competitive look, with a core of lukewarm favorites likely to include Kendall’s Boy, Solitary Ranger, Conquest Titan, and We Miss Artie. Seventeen were entered but only as many as 14 can start.

◗ Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady: Daisy Devine and Dayatthespa, both Grade 1 winners over the Keeneland course, are among eight fillies and mares in this one-mile turf race. Other notables include Hungry Island, Better Lucky, and a Coolmore 3-year-old, Say, who cleared quarantine earlier this week after shipping from Ireland for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

◗ Grade 2, $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America: The defending champion, Groupie Doll, was assigned the favorable outside slot in a field of just six fillies and mares in this six-furlong Polytrack race. Trainer Buff Bradley has been effusive in his praise of the reigning divisional champion as she has trained toward her final prep for the Nov. 2 BC Filly and Mare Sprint. Judy the Beauty and Gypsy Robin head the opposition.

◗ Grade 3, $150,000 Woodford: A typical well-matched field of 10 turf sprinters was entered in this 5 1/2-furlong race, with the 2012 runner-up, Great Mills, likely to be among the favorites. Others figuring to take solid play include Stormofthecentury, Spring to the Sky, and the 2011 winner, Havelock.