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Saratoga notes: Wise Dan to carry 129 pounds in Fourstardave
Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year, was assigned 129 pounds for Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap, the race he won last year to start his current seven-race winning streak.
The impost is one pound more than he carried while winning the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap on June 29. He will be spotting his five expected rivals 11 to 12 pounds. Skyring, the winner of the Dixie Stakes, and Za Approval, the runner-up in the Shoemaker Mile, each were assigned 118. Lea, second to Wise Dan in the Firecracker; King Kreesa, the Poker Handicap winner; and Mr. Commons each were assigned 117 pounds.
“The more I think about it, I’m OK with it,” said Charlie LoPresti, who trains Wise Dan. “They did what they had to do to make the race go.”
LoPresti noted that the Fourstardave would be the last handicap race Wise Dan would run in this year. Possible upcoming races for him such as the Woodbine Mile, Shadwell Turf Mile, and Breeders’ Cup Mile are not handicaps.
On Monday, Lea worked a half-mile on dirt in 49.53 after having worked the last two weeks on turf.
“We’re on schedule for Saturday,” said Al Stall Jr., the trainer of Lea. “He worked two good times on the turf – very happy with how he did. Gave him a week off last week, just two-minute-licked three-quarters out in the middle of the racetrack, blew him out a little bit this morning. The weights all make sense. He beat us on the muscle last time in Louisville, so we know we’re up against it, but we understand how the weights shook out. We’re looking for firm [turf]. I’d just as soon let him hear his feet rattle.”
No Breeders’ Cup for Delaunay
Though the favored Delaunay came out of his fourth-place finish in Sunday’s Grade 1 Vanderbilt in good shape, his connections have decided to turn him out for 60 days and will not point him to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
“He looks like a million dollars,” owner Maggi Moss said Monday. “He’s had 40 races since April 2010, and he’s never been off the racetrack. I’m going to give him 60 days at a friend’s [farm] and get him ready for Fair Grounds. The pressure’s off. Yay! I’m so flipped out over this horse. I’m convinced this is the right thing to do.”
Moss said Delaunay could return in the Thanksgiving Day Handicap at Fair Grounds, a race he won last year as part of a six-race winning streak that included the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Sprint. The streak was broken when Delaunay finished second to Gentlemen’s Bet in the Iowa Sprint Handicap in June.
Delaunay was beaten 2 1/2 lengths in the Vanderbilt and missed out on second by a half-length. Moss said jockey Rosie Napravnik told her and trainer Tom Amoss that she didn’t think Delaunay handled the track.
Boisterous sharp for Sword Dancer
Boisterous, the winner of the Grade 1 Man o’ War in his last start, drilled four furlongs in 46.87 seconds over the Oklahoma turf course Monday in preparation for the Sword Dancer Invitational on Aug. 17. Boisterous appeared to just be cruising under exercise rider Cecil Putnam, getting his final quarter in 23.11.
“That’s about as good as I’ve ever seen him breeze by himself,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “He was relaxed, and he kept on running.”
Others pointing to the Sword Dancer include Big Blue Kitten and Optimizer.
◗ Rydilluc will face five rivals, including Charming Kitten and Notacatbutallama, in Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Also entered were Get in Line, who will be coupled with Charming Kitten as part of a Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned entry, North Slope, and Balance the Books.
Seems to me like the weights Wise Dan has been carrying will make him even stronger. When the weight comes off, he's going to be even better than last year. This race and the Firecracker are just paid workouts. I wouldn't worry about it. The days of horses running a wide range of distances on different surfaces are gone. These days it's all about being a specialist and sticking to what your best at. The days of the classic 1 1/2 mile turf horse are gone too. Look at our recent turf stars Wise Dan, Gio Ponti, Acclamation and Goldikova. None won at 1 1/2 miles. No use crying over spilled milk. Just roll with the changes. Maybe the BC Turf should be $2 million and the mile should be $3 million because the Mile has become more important than the Turf. That's just the way it is these days.
Boisterious is doing a excellent imitation of his stablemate POINT OF ENTRY and is too sharp for the Sword Dancer field and expect him to be posing for another G1 $$$$$$$
Are you kidding me,our HOTY is beating up high priced Awl horses at best and only getting 129 ??????? Why even run the race just give him the $$$$$$$$ and move on to the Woodbine Mile. Talk about easy money. One final worry , why are they ducking the best runnwrs in the country and running in theses paid workout races...... Hmmmmm........ Stay tuned on this weird handling of America's current HOTY.
Notacatbutallama gets ignored at the windows and keeps winning. He's no monster, but he's been taking care of business and padding my bankroll.
Putting more weight on him doesn't seem to be having that much of an effect on him. Though they should be careful, excessive weight assignments can have a bad effect on an animal.
I'll say one thing. That winner of the 15,000 dollar win bet for the race probably has as close to a sure thing as there possibly is in racing...
I can't bet against Wise Dan...even if he is 2:5. This will be the third time watching this horse live. I bet against him last year in the fourstardave, and he blew away Corporate Jungle and Co. After seeing him bottled up against the rail, and Johnny V finding a way through, this horse is a true champion! Why risk running him on dirt in different races?? I like what the connections are doing. He has a great shot at picking up another $300,000. I will be there at the fence in toga watching Dan in the stretch blow by his rivals. UNLESS...the "Graveyard of champions" unleashes the hounds....YA!! Keep racing those horses...I hate it when they win two legs of the triple crown, or a few grade one races, and they retire at early 4 or sometimes even 3 years old. Horses are wild animals that are born (and love to) run! Giddy up, I say...and let em run!!
Jim Qaukey: Why do you, and must other Wise Dan detractors, feel the need to exaggerate in order to get a point across? You say Wise Dan isn't in Game On Dude and Fort Larned's league because they have won G1 races at distances of 1 3/6 (you likely meant 1 3/16), 1 1/16, 1 1/8, and 1 1/4 when in fact they have only won G1's at two distances (1 1/8 and 1 1/4). Wise Dan owns just as many and add another on dirt to boot. You say that Wise Dan is carrying high weights because he is beating the "same old same old". What do you have to say about Game on Dude literally been beating the same horses over and over. Want facts? Game on Dude has not travelled outside of a hundred mile radius in 9 of his last 10 starts. Talk about a big fish in a small pond. Why hasn't he carried more than 127? You speak of Wise Dan being in a "comfort zone". What is that? Is that the same as Fort Larned and Game on Dude primarily being campaigned at distances of 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 on dirt? If you want Wise Dan to run 1 1/4 on dirt then why not demand Game on Dude and Fort Larned to run 1 mile on turf? This should be a two way street if you want to use that logic. Lets see some versatility from 'Dude and 'Larned. If I did have to criticize something about the Wise Dan camp it would be his trainer seemingly telling the press time and again that Wise Dan is being considered for certain races on dirt which hardly come to fruition. That causes a lot of confusion and disappointment with fans who anticipate "clashes". I say stick to commenting on races you are likely to run in likely every other trainer. I know I would be disappointed if Baffert said he is considering Game on Dude for the Woodbine Mile and then say he rather stick to the Pacific Classic. The fact is Wise Dan is the best at what he does and Game on Dude is the best at what he does. Two specialists who happen to thrive at two distances on different surfaces. I doubt Morton Fink cares whether or not Wise Dan repeats as HOTY. He loves his horse and he is placing him where Wise Dan is happy and thriving.
Another unbettable card? At least pick 4. Started good but slowly going down hill. I played one race there Sunday and bet C.Brown first Sunday. That was all I saw. When is NY going to add a 50cent pick 5. Please.
I get really tired of the insults of WD. I think he's a really, really good horse. He will give it his all whenever he runs, regardless of surface or distance. He loves to run and doesn't like to lose. It's not his fault that his owner is so conservative with him. I wish they'd at least stretch him out on the turf and see how far he can go like Romans did with Little Mike last year. Everyone thought he couldn't get past a mile, including me, but Romans tried him and he was able to win at 1 1/4 and 1 1/2. WD is a monster on the turf so keep him there, but why not try him at longer distances? But as far as insulting the horse, please don't. He doesn't know who his competition us or what level they run at. He just knows he needs to beat them.