08/09/2012 3:37PM

Saratoga: Wise Dan returns to turf in Fourstardave

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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.