10/04/2014 7:12PM

Slow start doesn't stop Wise Dan in Shadwell Mile

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Coady Photography
Wise Dan drives to yet another Grade 1 score in the Shadwell Turf Mile Saturday at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Even spotting them a head start, Wise Dan couldn’t be beat.

The reigning two-time Horse of the Year added another remarkable chapter to his storybook career when overcoming an awkward break Saturday to win the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile, the richest race in the 78-year history of Keeneland Race Course.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Wise Dan weaved his way through his seven opponents to find an outside lane for the stretch run, where he reeled in the last few to prevail by a length. He returned $3.80 as the favorite after finishing in 1:35.62 over a good turf.

Grand Arch, a 19-1 shot, finished second, a neck before Sayaad. Kaigun was fourth, another 1 1/2 lengths back, while Seek Again, the 5-2 second choice, ran sixth.

In the immediate aftermath of the race, trainer Charlie LoPresti did not rule out a run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a 1 1/4-mile dirt race on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, although owner-breeder Mort Fink later said unequivocally through various Twitter sources that Wise Dan will run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile if healthy. Wise Dan has won his Horse of the Year titles primarily by staying in turf races between eight and nine furlongs and has won the BC Mile the last two years.

On a mostly cloudy, chilly afternoon, and before an ontrack crowd of 25,070, Wise Dan got away a step slow as Silver Max rolled away to an uncontested lead in 24.58 and 48.27 seconds.

“I got a little scared there,” said Velazquez. “I wasn’t expecting him to do that. All I wanted him to do after that was relax.”

After saving ground through the first turn and splitting horses on the far turn, Wise Dan angled to the outside and put in his customary stretch run to win for the 23rd time in 31 starts and for the 15th time in 16 grass starts. The $600,000 winner’s share lifted his career bankroll to $7,552,920.

“Johnny did a great job,” said LoPresti. “He didn’t panic, and the horse was his usual self. He really is just an amazing animal.”

Grand Arch, ridden by David Moran, was among those to overtake Silver Max in the upper stretch and outfinished Sayaad for the place while Wise Dan surged past them both in the final 70 yards.

The $2 exacta (6-3) paid $38.40, the $1 trifecta (6-3-1) returned $115.50, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-3-1-5) was worth $47.04.

mike More than 1 year ago
Daniel Doesn't matter what you and a few want regarding Wise Dan. You,myself and others aren't in the mix.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not gonna start predicting who is the best horse at this stage of the year. I think there are some intriguing contenders, for sure. I choose to follow them all and appreciate them all. As in savor them. Since I'm not banking mucho bucks on their races, I can do that and enjoy that. I just hope, above all, that they stay safe and sound. I'm foremost a thoroughbred horse lover. Secondly, a bettor.
Scott Scheib More than 1 year ago
The thing with WD is that he does not need more than 1 prep to not only compete but beat Graded stakes horses. In a time when a thoroughbred's career is usually less than 5 years, this is great stuff. Whether it is on the grass or turf, these class iron horses are a treat to watch and bet for sure.
philcoforde More than 1 year ago
No 6 or 7 yo has ever won BC Classic. Racing is lucky to have a healthy WD running and gutting out gritty wins. Hope they keep him MILE'n.
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
For those that want to see Dan tested on the dirt, I think you might see that after the BC turf mile. I get the feeling LoPresti is itching to do it, and will get his way in his next start after the mile.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Just finished unpacking... and Wise Dan is Horse of the Year. Almost don't care what the Eclipse voters say but it would be nice to make it "Official".
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Love Dan but HOY? No sorry
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Shared Belief shouldn't be Hoy even IF he wins Classic. Who exactly has he run against this year. Game on Dude on an off day at end of his career.....Hollendorfer has cautiously picked his spots out west just like Beholder. Padding stats against weak horses. Wise Dan just made a very rough race look EASY.....at Keeneland not Los Alamitos.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Your right T.C. ! S.B. will be the favorite in the Classic and will get beat....
riddick More than 1 year ago
getting greedy but I would not mind if he got a good shot at the smug foreigners in Dubai. I believe we can beat them on turf if we train differently.
riddick More than 1 year ago
yeah it's like the Colic surgery was just a long needed rest. :) Take good care of him LoPresti.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This blog is calling me Jack (but posts as "anonymous"). The post below is mine.