08/03/2012 3:31PM

Saratoga: Successful Dan to undergo stem-cell therapy

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Barbara D. Livingston
Successful Dan's connections are hoping to bring the horse back from injury next year.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The connections of Successful Dan will attempt to bring the multiple graded stakes winner back from a third significant injury after the 6-year-old gelding was found with a strained distal sesamoidean ligament in his left foreleg.

Successful Dan will undergo stem-cell therapy in a couple of weeks and then be turned out for at least two months before undergoing three to four months of active rehabilitation, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

“If everything went perfectly, we’d like to have him going by mid-year, next year,” Bramlage said.

Trainer Charles Lopresti said owner Morton Fink would like to try and bring Successful Dan back to the races next year. Successful Dan has won 7 of 11 starts, including the Grade 2 Alysheba at Churchill Downs in which he set a track record for 1 1/16 miles. Most recently, he finished second to Fort Larned in the Grade 3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows. He had been training toward a start in Saturday’s Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga before Lopresti noticed inflammation in the left foreleg last week.

“Mr. Fink says absolutely,” Lopresti said about a comeback. “He’s a gelding, he loves the racetrack, he loves to run, and when he’s good, he’s really good.”

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Successful Dan has been sidelined for long periods of time twice in his career, including once in 2009 for an injury similar to this. He returned in August 2010 and made five starts – including being disqualified from first place in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap – before suffering a sesamoidean ligament injury.

Bramlage said the previous injury to Successful Dan was in the ligament above the sesamoid, whereas this one is below.

“Both injuries are to the suspensory apparatus that supports the fetlock,” Bramlage said. “He had a couple of episodes before two years ago where we used stem cells on him. It seems to have helped, because the suspensory ligament has gotten better and better and better.”

Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
This was a rare case of severe mismanagement and distasteful arrogance shown by the normally solid horseman Charles Lopresti. There was a race in June that was almost specifically written for Successful Dan. That race: - was at Churchill Downs which SD was unbeaten career 5 for 5 (the Equibase Chart will still have SD crosses the finish line first in the 2010 Clark Handicap). - was a Grade 1, perfect redemption for the G1 Clark that was stolen from SD by the Churchill Downs stewards. - was 6 weeks after the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill in which SD set a new track record for 8.5f and ran his best Beyer speed figure ever at age 6. Six weeks is a good enough break to avoid a bounce after a career best effort. - SD would actually receive 2 pounds weight allowance from the eventual winner Ron the Greek. - there was no need to travel, an important factor for a supremely talented but highly fragile horse. The race was the 2012 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, run one week after the Belmont Stakes. They entered SD in the race but not running him. They waited 8 weeks total (instead of 6 weeks from the Alysheba to the Stephen Foster) to run him back in a G3 at Prairie Meadows in a short field against a lone speed at 10pm at night!! Seriously, I happen to believe that most handicappers would pick Successful Dan in a 9 furlong race against his half brother Wise Dan. But in the eyes of Lopresti and Fink Successful Dan has always been the step child. They use words like brilliance and other superlatives to refer to Wise Dan, and mere quiet admiration for Successful. The arrogance displayed by the connections of the Dans turned off a few people, even though I don't think they meant it or even realized it. Leading up to the Stephen Foster Handicap, they couldn't stop themselves from talking about keeping the two Dans apart, Wise Dan in the Stephen Foster and Successful in New York, as if it was a lock for either one of them to win. Gee....why did anyone else even bother to show up? We only have to run one of our stars and he'll run all over you guys. They entered both horses in the race and talked about how Successful Dan would only run if something unforeseen happened to Wise Dan. They were so confident that Wise Dan would blow them all away, and if not him they could send Successful and he would outfinish all challengers. The opposing trainers and crews were tired of hearing about such talks in the press. Three jockeys went out of their ways to give Wise Dan a few solid bumps and shoves in the first furlong of the race coming out of the gate. Not only did he not blow the competition away, he lost the race! And the time was a full second slower than a filly ran one race prior, and he was way overbet at 4-5 in a very competitive 8 horse field (in comparison Royal Delta was 3-5 against much softer competitions). Personally I think Successful Dan would have won it. Heck! The competitors probably had too much respect for the horse to bump him intentionally. So they shipped to Prairie Meadow to chase a lone speed in futility at 10pm at night, then off to Saratoga for a fast workout. New serious injury! What a disaster.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
This was a rare case of severe mismanagement and distasteful arrogance shown by the normally solid horseman Charles Lopresti. There was a race in June that was almost specifically written for Successful Dan. That race: - was at Churchill Downs which SD was unbeaten career 5 for 5 (the Equibase Chart will still have SD crosses the finish line first in the 2010 Clark Handicap). - was a Grade 1, perfect redemption for the G1 Clark that was stolen from SD by the Churchill Downs stewards. - was 6 weeks after the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill in which SD set a new track record for 8.5f and ran his best Beyer speed figure ever at age 6. Six weeks is a good enough break to avoid a bounce after a career best effort. - SD would actually receive 2 pounds weight allowance from the eventual winner Ron the Greek. - there was no need to travel, an important factor for a supremely talented but highly fragile horse. The race was the 2012 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, run one week after the Belmont Stakes. They entered SD in the race but not running him. They waited 8 weeks total (instead of 6 weeks from the Alysheba to the Stephen Foster) to run him back in a G3 at Prairie Meadows in a short field against a lone speed at 10pm at night!! Seriously, I happen to believe that most handicappers would pick Successful Dan in a 9 furlong race against his half brother Wise Dan. But in the eyes of Lopresti and Fink Successful Dan has always been the step child. They use words like brilliance and other superlatives to refer to Wise Dan, and mere quiet admiration for Successful. The arrogance displayed by the connections of the Dans turned off a few people, even though I don't think they meant it or even realized it. Leading up to the Stephen Foster Handicap, they couldn't stop themselves from talking about keeping the two Dans apart, Wise Dan in the Stephen Foster and Successful in New York, as if it was a lock for either one of them to win. Gee....why did anyone else even bother to show up? We only have to run one of our stars and he'll kick your ass. They entered both horses in the race and talked about how Successful Dan would only run if something unforeseen happened to Wise Dan. They were so confident that Wise Dan would blow them all away, and if not him they could send Successful and he would outfinish all challengers. The opposing trainers and crews were tired of hearing about such talks in the press. Three jockeys went out of their ways to give Wise Dan a few solid bumps and shoves in the first furlong of the race coming out of the gate. Not only did he not blow the competition away, he lost the race! And the time was a full second slower than a filly ran one race prior, and he was way overbet at 4-5 in a very competitive 8 horse field (in comparison Royal Delta was 3-5 against much softer competitions). Personally I think Successful Dan would have won it. Heck! The competitors probably had too much respect for the horse to bump him intentionally. So they shipped to Prairie Meadow to chase a lone speed in futility at 10pm at night, then off to Saratoga for a fast workout. New serious injury! What a disaster.
Steve Hanna More than 1 year ago
Successful Dan is my favorite type of horse, an old pro that shows up in every race while dealing with adversity. Much easier to be a fan of his than some 3 yr. old that runs 6 or 7 races then retires. When horse racing was popular there were more like this!
Morris More than 1 year ago
good luck, sucessful dan. hope to see you in the fall of 013, stronger & better than ever. the stem cell proceedure, is amazing, to say the least. congrats to dans connections for having the money & patience to let it work. "an ole railbird"
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
This is typical of injuries. One area gets repaired and anothe gets weakened by the body and horse naturally compensating for the first injury. I understand he's a gelding but seriously guys? This isn't best for the horse and ya know it.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I hate to agree, but you are probably correct. I suppose it's worth a shot, but best case scenario is this horse comes back for 2 or 3 races; that seems about all the horse can string together. Maybe in those 2 or 3 races they can win some big enough races. But if they're going to do this, then run the horse in the biggest races. Being frank, don't waste those 2 or 3 starts on grade 3s.
mike More than 1 year ago
are you sure dr.cook?
Rufus More than 1 year ago
And they thought Mariah's Storm would never survive her injuries. It's a funny world that we live in, isn't it? Our science and our medicine keeps improving, and keeps getting better and better. New approaches keep finding better and better ways of improving on a lot of the traditional ways that things were done. Here's hoping that things go well and they're successful with Successful Dan!