08/12/2013 5:24PM

Saratoga: Wise Dan leaning toward Shadwell Turf Mile

Barbara D. Livingston
Wise Dan won the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap for the second straight year Saturday and will make one more start before defending his crown in the Breeders' Cup Mile in November.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Wise Dan will have one more race before the Breeders’ Cup Mile, and trainer Charlie LoPresti appears to be leaning toward waiting for the Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 5 as opposed to the $1 million Woodbine Mile on Sept. 15.

Wise Dan won both of those races last fall following his victory in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap and before he won the Breeders’ Cup Mile, capping his Horse of the Year campaign.

Last Saturday, Wise Dan scored a repeat victory in the $500,000 Fourstardave, but since he ran in the Firecracker Handicap at Churchill Downs in June, LoPresti is looking at only one fall prep. He said the Shadwell makes more sense in part because it would cut down on shipping.

“There’s not much shipping involved; he goes home, we can take it easy with him for a couple of weeks off of this race, then start cranking him up sometime in the last week in September,” LoPresti said Monday. “He’s not going to take much to get ready. I can breeze him on the grass down there, and he’d be ready to go.”

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LoPresti said he might even ship Wise Dan to Keeneland before the end of the Saratoga to meet “to let him down” a little bit before his fall campaign.

“If I’m here, I might be tempted to go over there and work him on the grass, and I don’t want to do that again,” LoPresti said, referring to the fact that Wise Dan works very fast over the Oklahoma turf course.

LoPresti said Wise Dan came out of his 1 1/4-length victory over King Kreesa very sharp.

“I gave him a bath today, and he wanted to rip my head off,” LoPresti said. “He’s a scary son of a gun, that horse. I’ll tell you what, he wasn’t even tired. I don’t think he drank a bucket of water.”

Fourstardave runner-up King Kreesa came out of his race in good order, according to trainer Jeremiah Englehart, who said he would like to avoid running against Wise Dan in his next start.

Englehart said that if Wise Dan does indeed skip the Woodbine Mile, he would likely run King Kreesa in that spot.

“It’s a one-turn mile there, similar to Belmont, obviously with a longer stretch,” Englehart said. “If [Wise Dan] is in there, you obviously know who the favorite is; with him out of there, it obviously opens the race up a lot.”

Leslie Bliman-Kuretzky More than 1 year ago
Would have loved to see him at Woodbine. Oh well, looks like another Grade III field for the Woodbine MIle
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
I think they're just gearing up Wise Dan for another "wow" performance in the Mile. If he delivers and the Classic winner is iffy, WD will likely be Horse of the Year again. I've seen Wise Dan race in person over 10 times. I don't think I've seen any horse run in person more than Wise Dan
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
Comparing Wise Dan and Frankel makes no sense one is a gelding with no stud future thanks to his connections.
James More than 1 year ago
May not be a Frankel yet; however he may not have won 8 in a row if he was not gelded. Some colts need to be gelded in order reach their full potential and gelding also can assist keeping the horse more sound. Your negative comment in reference to the horse being gelded and blaming his connections for doing it are unjust. Especially if you do not know why they gelded WD. WD may not be a Frankel; however I would love to have all the purse money that WD has earned.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is no different than Frankel...both are milers...yeah yeah yeah heard all that bs stuff about Frankel winning at 10 and Wise Dan winning at 9 but they are both basically miler...Everything is relative!! So what if Wise Dan does not run in the longer races like the BC Classic or the Turf Classic....Frankel never attempted any prestigious 12 furlong races either....and both beat whipping boy Excel....
Walter More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is a turf mile specialist, so they are placing him in those type of races. And, he delivers. It doesn't look like a HOY caliber campaign, however, we must see how the other divisions shake out. If no other horse steps up and dominates, then WD prob would win it again.
Holybull More than 1 year ago
Englehart is indeed a wise man to stay out of Wise Dan's way....lol...WD is a monster on grass at a mile. Would have loved to see a match race between Wise Dan and Frankel.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I agree with Meydan. Why over race the horse? HOY is a great honor but really only raises stud value. So why not map the path they have? Would anybody here fix something that isn't broken? Turf is easier on a horse physically as it is a "softer" less jarring surface. Grade one or grade two makes little difference when purses are $500,000 and up. Isn't making money the name of the game?
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
My question is this. Do the connections REALLY care if Wisedan (A GELDING) wins HOY or not? Does it impact his main reason for existing... winning races ($$$) for as long as he possibly can??
Perl More than 1 year ago
Of course they don't care. They are going to campaign the horse the way they want to. It's conservative sure, but it's their horse and they are probably taking great care of him and thinking long term with him. Nobody has to like it but that's the way it is. At the end of the year they will let all the people who care about HotY (I'm not one of them) go nuts about who deserves this honor. They will keep their hall-of-famer happy with oats, carrots and peppermints in his stall and savor what appears likely to be another undefeated and highly profitable season with their brilliant miler.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
So really, whats the big deal with some of peoples comments keeping Wise Dan at a Mile on turf. He is a winner of 8 straight so far. IMO , not a bad campaign. As far as HOY for 2013, don't think connections really care for that honor, all they got to do is wake up in the morning, go to the stable and look what honors them. WISE DAN that is. Half of the people here who want to see WD run on dirt, that's not gonna happen and for what, to make you happy. This is a very nice horse with more to show. He is a lawn mower at a mile, keep him there. You can only dream of having a horse like him. Why change what is working for this horse? Remember , WD carried 129 lbs to victory in the Firecracker, could have carried more and would have won it. HOY can go to another but in the corner of WD , he is horse of a lifetime to them......
Bryan Horn More than 1 year ago
Yes they do; why do you think a lot of us are up in arms. They talk about winning the HOY all the time. They ran this line-up of races last year; enter the horse against true challengers at true distances.
Perl More than 1 year ago
"true distances," lol. Do they tell Usain Bolt he should stretch out to 400m? Do they tell the world's top miler that he needs to run a marathon to really prove himself? Show us where his connections "talk about winning HOY all the time." I haven't seen Lopresti or Fink quoted as saying they deserve it in 2013, or anything like that. Fiction.
Big Bob More than 1 year ago
Here ya go.. http://www.drf.com/news/churchill-downs-wise-dan-has-options-after-firecracker-win Paragraph 6, too bad for LoPresti that none of the Grade 1's on dirt out east are coming up easy enough to convince Fink.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Here's his quote: “I’d really like to keep him undefeated, and I’d like to win a Grade 1 with him on the dirt this year,” he said. “I think if we could win a Grade 1 with him on the dirt and keep him undefeated, that he doesn’t necessarily need to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. I think if we get a Grade 1 on the dirt with him and then keep him going and get a few wins on the turf and then get to the Breeders’ Cup, that maybe he’ll get Horse of the Year again.” That quote does not constitute talking about winning HOY "all the time," does it? In fact, Lopresti all but concedes that in order to have a good chance, they will have to win a G1 on the dirt. It doesn't strike me as arrogant or entitled in any way. They aren't claiming they deserve it if they stick to the current schedule. In fact, just the opposite.
Big Bob More than 1 year ago
You're right Perl, they don't talk about it "all the time". I just remember that one instance that it was mentioned by LoPresti. I don't think they are arrogant or entitled either. I think that LoPresti does come off as contradictory at times, but maybe its the media misquoting him. Horses like Wise Dan don't come around often. I understand they want to be conservative with the horse and keep him healthy, but is running him past 9 furlongs at least once really going to hurt the horse? It would have been awesome to see how he would do in the Arlington Million.
Perl More than 1 year ago
I hear ya Big Bob. I was curious about the million as well, but I'll tell you what probably would have happened. He would have been prominent throughout. He would crush Little Mike and Nate's Mineshaft on the far turn, and then he would have been pretty much bankrupt at the eighth pole and Europe's stayers would be all over him. He probably would have finished a gallant third place and the effort would have wiped him out. I'm comfortable with the notion that he just doesn't want 10f. He did begin his career as a sprinter after all.
Steven Simonovic More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan should run in the Classic to show his medal. Who cares about the BC Mile Turf.
Perl More than 1 year ago
I think his connections are totally convinced the horse doesn't want 10f. His breeding is suspect and he began his career as a one turn horse. It would be interesting to find out, but I think his people probably have a good handle on his limitations. Otherwise, they would chase the $5m. BTW, the BC Mile Turf is extremely prestigious and winning it a second year in a row would put wise dan in elite company (with a pair of all time great race mares).
Jean Mikle More than 1 year ago
And of course Lure, who won back to back miles and was just inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Mine thatbird More than 1 year ago
Not that I have good grammar but the saying is "show his mettle" not medal. mettle: ability to cope with difficulty, challenges, etc. medal: small flat piece of metal