08/09/2012 4:37PM

Saratoga: Wise Dan returns to turf in Fourstardave

Barbara D. Livingston
Wise Dan has good turf form with a win in the Grade 2 Firecracker and a fourth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Charlie Lopresti’s big three may be down to just one for the time being, but that one is the imposing Wise Dan, who will attempt to show he is a force to be reckoned with on either turf or dirt the remainder of the year when he returns to the grass for Saturday’s $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

Lopresti began the summer with three of the top older horses in the country only to have both his turf specialist Turallure and the red-hot Successful Dan sidelined by injuries suffered over the past month. Successful Dan was to have been among the favorites in last weekend’s Grade 1 Whitney when he was sidelined due to a ligament injury in his left leg.

With Successful Dan pointing for the Whitney, Lopresti intended to keep his stars apart by running Wise Dan in the Grade 2 Fourstardave. Wise Dan has been a synthetic specialist for the most part during his career, although he did win the Grade 1 Clark Handicap and recently finished an unlucky second in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster over the dirt track at Churchill Downs. He has started just twice on turf, winning the Grade 2 Firecracker before finishing fourth behind Gio Ponti last fall in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile.

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“There was a big temptation to switch Wise Dan to the Whitney after Successful Dan went out, but I didn’t want to change gears at that point,” said Lopresti.

Lopresti also thinks Wise Dan is razor sharp right now and may be as good if not better on turf than dirt.

“He had a monster breeze on turf last time,” said Lopresti. “The first one was good but the last one was just phenomenal. He just picked it up every pole and came back full of run. I think he’s pretty good right now. I do still believe he’s better on synthetic and grass than dirt, even though he’s won a Grade 1 on the dirt.”

Wise Dan will carry 119 pounds in the Fourstardave, two fewer than the horse Lopresti said he fears the most, the 121-pound highweight Data Link.

“I hope to see my horse sitting right close up there near the lead because I know one thing: that Data Link is going to be coming on at the end,” Lopresti said. “That horse has run some monster races. He beat Turallure at Keeneland and ran a great race the last time. The whole field is so strong, this race should be a Grade 1.”

Data Link defeated Turallure to win the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile in April and is coming off a one-length victory over Get Stormy in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes. Like Wise Dan, he is coming off a very sharp work over the Oklahoma turf course last weekend.

Get Stormy won the 2010 Fourstardave when it was run at 1 1/16 miles but was unable to defend the title due to a minor injury last summer. Get Stormy, who made the lead in early stretch before succumbing to Data Link in the Monmouth, opened the season with a victory in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Corporate Jungle had his three-race win streak snapped when finishing a wide-running fifth in Hollywood Park’s Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile, but trainer Chad Brown is expecting his improving 4-year-old to rebound with a bigger effort on Saturday.

“I’m very confident the horse is going to run a solid race,” said Brown. “There’s definitely some very good horses in there, but he’s in career form right now. We’ll just see if he’s good enough.”

Right One could be a bit of a sleeper for trainer Christophe Clement coming off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Poker. He looked very sharp working six furlongs in 1:12 over the Oklahoma turf course on July 28.

Guys Reward has won his last three starts, including the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Surfrider, Upgrade, and the speedy Yield Bogey complete the field. Crossbow has been entered for main track only and there is rain in the forecast for Saturday.

Perl More than 1 year ago
I like Wise Dan to take advantage of his inside trip and spurt away to a convincing victory. They will bet him to 3-2 or so, but better a short price than a long face! Corporate Jungle will make a big move to reach contention but he will only manage to hold the place slot after Wise Dan explodes at the eighth pole. Get Stormy will finish 3rd.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Well look at that. Straight triple!
Phil D More than 1 year ago
i like Get Stormy to wire, Surfrider might surprise with a good one if Get Stormy gets pace pressure. Also using Corporate Jungle and Upgrade
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
If Wise Dan gets a reasonable trip, he should roll. He got the most ungodly awkward trip in the Foster and still should've won. His win at Keeneland was special, no one in this group has that kind of talent. If it washes out on dirt, he'll win by 10 at 1/5.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
If this is off turf, it will be run at 7 furlong one-turn. There is a son of Bernardini in the field who is almost guaranteed to relish the slop from the AP Indy bloodline. His name is Crossbow and he will prove uncatchable. Wise Dan usually closed from midpack when sprinting. Luckily your questionable handicapping skill will not cost you much because there is no way this race is coming off turf. NYRA is committed to make the Fourstardave a G1 next year by boosting the purse to $500k and made it one of seven Saturday features of the elite summer meet. That's not good news for Wise Dan either. He's really not that good on turf when he couldn't outfinish Sydney's Candy, a supremely talented horse infamous for having very little in him, despite having a perfect trip.
DrSmoke120 More than 1 year ago
Good move staying outta da Whitney, he would have sucking on the fumes of "The Fort"
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Stormy wire to wire if Yield Bogey leaves him alone. He is the horse for the course with two bullets in him in preparation. He's also gone wire to wire on good turf as well as firm.
Lucifer More than 1 year ago
How about soft turf? Nice set of grass runners, maybe the Americans can surprise on the grass this year. Maybe not.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
This Mike Welsch guy can be very resourceful... re: Trinni's work.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
I'm counting On Wise Dan getting severely overbet again and not finish in the top two. This horse couldn't outfinish Sydney's Candy in the Shadwell Turf Mile before he won the Clark so I doubt that he's better on turf.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago