08/04/2010 2:23PM

Successful Dan making long-delayed return at Arlington


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Good things come to those who wait. It’s a cliché that applies to racing fans tuned in to Arlington Park for Friday’s nine-race program, and to the connections of the 4-year-old gelding Successful Dan.

Successful Dan, a perfect 3 for 3 to begin his career, races for the first time since June 13, 2009, when he starts in the featured ninth race here Friday. The mid-afternoon card picks up quality as it goes on, with a second-level allowance preceding the featured nightcap.

Kentucky-based Successful Dan, trained by Charles Lopresti for owner-breeder Mort Fink, was one of eight horses entered in a strong third-level, six-furlong Polytrack allowance race also open to $62,500 claimers. The feature also includes Mam Bird, who has all three of his starts this Arlington meet; multiple stakes winner Shrewd Operator, victorious in five of seven Arlington Polytrack tries; and Mambo Galliano, a sharp winner of his last start over Arlington’s main track.

Successful Dan has not raced since defeating the classy Warrior’s Reward in the 2009 Northern Dancer at Churchill Downs, a win preceded by scores over Polytrack maidens at Keeneland and entry-level allowance foes at Churchill.

“He came up sore a breeze after the Northern Dancer,” Lopresti said. “We got that under control, and we about had him on schedule for Keeneland in the spring, and then he came up with a sore high suspensory.”

Lopresti said he started “getting serious” with Successful Dan’s training back in June, and that Successful Dan has been working forwardly for his comeback over the Keeneland main track.

“All indications say he’s coming back just as good,” said Lopresti. “He’s trained very, very good to this race, hasn’t missed a beat. The only concern I have is the six furlongs with him down in the one hole. He broke his maiden going six and a half, and pretty much walked out of the gate and circled the field. I expect him to be a little sharper off the layoff.”A strong early pace that could benefit Successful Dan seems likely in the Friday feature, with at least three confirmed front-runners entered. Positively drawn outside his pace rivals is Mam Bird, who worked a fast half-mile on Saturday for trainer Wayne Catalano. Mam Bird looked sharper winning an entry-level allowance on May 20, then he did in a second-level allowance score July 17, but Catalano said Mam Bird missed a work with a cough before his most recent outing.“I think that last race could help him,” said Catalano.