07/22/2013 6:06PM

Saratoga: Wise Dan has close call

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Barbara D. Livingston
Wise Dan is being pointed for the Fourstardave.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Charlie LoPresti’s reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, escaped a potentially disastrous situation after stumbling and nearly unseating exercise rider Damien Rock shortly past the finish line during a routine gallop here Monday. Rock did a remarkable job to get back in the saddle after having his right foot dislodged from the iron and his right leg pitched over the left side of Wise Dan’s body when his horse stumbled.

Once back in the irons, Rock quickly got Wise Dan back on stride to complete the gallop without further incident.

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“I was on the backside and never really saw what happened, which is a good thing or I probably would have fainted,” LoPresti said.

“The first I heard about it was when one of the clockers called me and asked if Wise Dan was all right. Damien told me a couple of workers came up inside Wise Dan just past the wire, surprised him, and caused him to lose his concentration just a little bit. But he seems to be just fine.”

LoPresti confirmed Monday that Wise Dan would make his next start in the Fourstardave and that he’s planning to work him over the Oklahoma turf course on Friday, weather permitting.