08/11/2012 6:50PM

Saratoga: Wise Dan powers home to win Fourstardave

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Tom Keyser
Wise Dan, with John Velazquez guiding him, wins the Fourstardave.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Wise Dan, already a Grade 1 winner on dirt, gave every indication he may be even better on grass after exploding through the final furlong to a convincing five-length victory over Corporate Jungle in Saturday's $500,000 Fourstardave at Saratoga.

The Grade 2 Fourstardave was decided over a turf course softened by two days of rain and which was officially designated as yielding at post time. Both Data Link and Right One were scratched as a result of the softer conditions.

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Wise Dan won the Grade 1 Clark Handicap in his 2011 finale and probably should have won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster late this spring, both races run over the main track at Churchill Downs. But trainer Charles Lopresti contended all along that he believed Wise Dan could actually be better on synthetics and turf, a theory that was validated here Saturday.

With regular rider John Velazquez aboard, Wise Dan stalked the pace of Get Stormy, who won the Fourstardave in 2010.  Get Stormy set relatively fast fractions considering the give in the ground, with Wise Dan straining at the bit to run in behind the leaders.

Wise Dan appeared to be trapped in behind Get Stormy as the field turned into the stretch. But Velazquez found just enough room inside the tiring pacesetter to drive Wise Dan through the narrow opening and to his second win in three career starts on turf. What made the performance even more impressive was the fact Wise Dan completed his final quarter in under 24 seconds over the yielding surface.

Corporate Jungle bided his time near the rear of the pack but within early striking distance of the early leaders, made a quick move around horses to loom boldly into the stretch, but was no match for the winner. Get Stormy finished a tiring third.

Wise Dan, a 5-year-old homebred son of Wiseman's Ferry owned by Morton Fink, paid $5 as the favorite in the scratch-reduced field of seven older horses.

"It's always a concern when you've never run over soft turf like that before," Lopresti said. "He's never run over it, he's never worked over it, but obviously it didn't bother him. When I saw him along the inside backing up a little bit I was worried, but Johnny said he had so much horse he could have pulled the trigger any time he wanted to."  

Lopresti said earlier this week that he considered switching Wise Dan to the Whitney after stablemate Successful Dan was taken out of the race last week because of injury. But he decided to stick to his original plan and keep Wise Dan on grass, at least for the time being, in the Fourstardave. The key question is whether he will keep him on turf for his next start or put him back on the dirt, possibly to start in the Grade 1 Woodward, here on Sept. 1.

"I've got a lot of options," said Lopresti. "I know he likes this dirt track now, so maybe the Woodward, maybe the Woodbine Mile, maybe the Bernard Baruch. There's a lot of options right now. He's just a neat horse. He loves to run."

 

 

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
this is a very nice horse especially on turf but lets not get carried away,comparing him to FRANKEL is like comparing a fiat to a ferrari,ive actually seen this horse run live and also saw his maternal grandsire wolf power win the germiston november handicap gri 1 mile on turf in south africa,and i can tell you WOLF POWER would put WISE DAN away easily,i also saw him beat some top euros in SPANISH POOL and FOVEROS,and none of those even come close to FRANKEL. FOVEROS was rated 128 by timeform at 3,wich would put WOLF POWER at 134,WISE DAN has been given a generous 130 timeform,and FRANKEL is at 147.
MICHAEL More than 1 year ago
Frankel's 147 is a total farce. Way overrated miler.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Best turf horse in the country right now. Until Acclamation wins a race outside of Cali (which will never happen) there's isn't much debate. May actually be the only turf horse comparable to the top notch Euros. Any comparison to Frankel,a great horse but overrated,is pure speculation. Much better than his brother on any surface
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
The horse wins by 5 aginst grade 2 competiton and he's already better than Frankel. who's rep is deserved as a multiple group one winner against large fields, and better turf horses. Let the horse do something significant, like beat Acclimation on turf then you can talk.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
He wasn't even the highweight in the field. Come on Man!
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
you must be a comedian----like a pound woulda made a diff-----we will never know how he compares to frankel so why even waste any ink with that----we will see how he goes later in the season----he will certainly run a few more as he has no stud value----he may run as long as Dave himself as long as he stays sound----wouldn't that be sweet? ----maybe another john henry in the making?----we could use a superstar like him, now couldn't we?
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
See? It is completely normal to sometimes being forced to leave the rail open. The jockeys always have to take care of the closest challenge first, in this race Corporate Jungle bearing down on the outside and in the 2012 Belmont, Atigun making a sweeping move gaining on the outside.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Go outside of one, go inside of two or more...
Dean More than 1 year ago
wow that was impressive...for a second I thought Corp. Jungle was going to win then that hole opened and WOW..Very Impressive and $550 Pick four too!!!
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
as i explained in watchmakers weekend warrior posting,this horses pedegree is all turf,and he was going to love it yielding.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Dan ran for about 300 yards and he would have spun Frankel around as he went past. You believers in the Teletimer, check the mile time and yes, Dan went two turns.
michael jeffries More than 1 year ago
Completely disagree
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
^^^^ funny comment..completely wrong
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Jeranimo ran a mile (yes two turns) in 1:33 and four fifth and he beat Corporate Jungle by 3 lengths, so can I assume that he and Frankel would deadheat for second? In a race with these 3 horses, should I go with an exacta of Wise Dan - Frankel or Wise Dan - Jeranimo? Come on man, hook a brother up!!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Take your argument to the ridiculous and it still supports mine, which is that Frankel is not the best Horse ever. I rarely go to the teletimer but did here because of two turns here vs one. Only the last quarter time is Dan's and he ran maybe 1/3 of that split. But what we got is another entry for Frankel to face. That's right, load him between Acclamation and Jeranimo and If you want to assume dead heats out in the future, go ahead. But you won't sell me on it. I've seen you write better stuff than that. Many times we've seen Horses gain respect for 'the way they did it.' All but Frankel have been looked in the eye and challenged. He gets his escort every trip. The Sussex was a boat race. The FourStarDave was not. Don't get me wrong, Frankel is a nice, nice horse but he still must beat more than Bullet Train. He's gotta be tested. We've not seen Frankel race... We've seen him perform.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
How can you go to the teletimer on turf?? Turf races are a function of pace. Now just take the last qtr mile, and that'll tell you what kind of performance it was. 24 seconds which is par for any turf performance. Nothing spectacular. Still think this guy deserves to be in the BC Classic.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Ronnie, I am challenging that remark from England. In my view you cannot go put on a show as they've done with Frankel and declare him the best in the world Ever. He's been kept in a vacuum. Let the Brits back up their claims.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
with the boggy course at the spa yesterday that last quarter was fantastic as he was third at the quarter pole ---
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
No one here on these blogs have ever posted that Frankel is the best ever. WTF is wrong with you ? You are debating with yourself and that imaginary voice in your head
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
No, no... That claim came from Britain and I am simply taking the Brits to task on that. I am saying prove it. Now wtf is that voice in my head saying? It's saying that John Gosden is doing it right. He's bringing his horses to run them. These events happen on the track, not in the pages of Timeform, other tout sheets or Brits with voices in Their heads.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
time is meaningless
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Peter, I agree. A tick here or there doesn't mean much. I only threw that in to point out that Dan went around two turns when the Sussex was only one. I'm the guy that suggested that guys handicapping too heavily on morning work times or splits ought to toss their stopwatch into the infield lake. It all happens when a winner looks a loser in the eye.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
yes----thats what makes winners----
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
is it frankels fault that few want to challenge him?-----$100,000 for second is not chump change is it?