08/12/2013 5:24PM

Saratoga: Wise Dan leaning toward Shadwell Turf Mile

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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.”