03/02/2015 12:06PM

Wise Dan begins road back from injury

Barbara D. Livingston
Wise Dan resumed walking under tack on Monday.

Wise Dan, the 2012 and 2013 Horse of the Year, resumed tack walking Monday at Keeneland and will return to racing only if the fracture to his right front leg that he sustained last fall fully heals, trainer Charlie LoPresti said.

The tack walking, expected to last at least three weeks, was prescribed by Dr. Larry Bramlage to put some pressure on the area of the injury and increase blood flow. LoPresti said the fracture line is healed, but there “is one gray area on the outside” that still needs improvement if Wise Dan is to resume training. Wise Dan’s condition will be re-evaluated by Bramlage around April 1, LoPresti said.

He emphasized that Wise Dan is not in any discomfort, but that he and owner Mort Fink will not return him to racing unless he X-rays 100 percent.

“In a perfect world, you might see this horse midsummer,” LoPresti said. “The biggest thing Mr. Fink and I want for him – whether he runs again or not – is that he heals 100 percent or 95 percent to where maybe he could be a lead pony someday. Obviously, the goal is to get him back, but we’re not going to risk hurting him to prove a point.”

An 8-year-old gelding, Wise Dan was perfect in four starts last year. He missed the Breeders’ Cup Mile after a compression fracture to his right front cannon bone was discovered following his win in the Shadwell Turf Mile last October. He had won the two previous Breeders’ Cup Miles.

Wise Dan did not win any Eclipse Awards in 2014, getting outvoted in the turf male division by Main Sequence, the Breeders’ Cup Turf champion, and by Main Sequence and Palace Malice in the older male category.

Last year was a difficult one for Wise Dan, who also underwent emergency colic surgery in late spring after winning the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. He recovered and went on to win the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga in August and then the Grade 1 Shadwell.

“I want to stress to all his fans that he has never been in any distress at one time,” LoPresti said. “The last two months, he’s been on the farm, turned out for five or six hours a day.”

A son of Wiseman’s Ferry out of Fink’s top broodmare, Lisa Danielle, Wise Dan has won 23 of 31 races and more than $7.5 million.

Mark Oleary More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful animal and one of the true ambassadors for the fabulous sport of horse racing. Good Luck , Wise Dan I hope you make it back because I truly feel you love racing as much as we love watching you. And once you do retire I hope you can become a lead pony so we can see you for years to come.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
We all love him, and think he is the BEST. After Cavarly Man broke down, I wouldn't risk it. He has done enough. Lead pony, I'm down with that.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Wise dan, my man is ready for 2015!!! Let's " squeeze" 3 more years out of him and make him run as a 10 year old so he will become horse or the century and richest horse!!!! I don't think I ever saw wise dan lose a race!! It's been a very long time, years since wise dan lost a race!!!!!!
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
He lost the 2013 Shadwell to Silver Max. Were you born last year?
tommy More than 1 year ago
Like I said, it's been a very long time since he lost. 2013?? Now it's 2015!! So he hasn't lost in 2 years!!!! That's long enough!!
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
It was six races ago, "tommy," not a very long time. And if you listen to what Fink and LoPresti have said, they're not going to "squeeze" this horse in any manner. Let them and the vets decide what is best for this champion, who has given us so much. Anything more on the racetrack is simply a bonus.
mike More than 1 year ago
Are you serious? He won't be racing at nine even. He's done enough.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Perhaps you meant to say, "Dan hasn't lost on turf in years"
Henry Malmoth More than 1 year ago
Hope to see Wise Dan run again. And if he is retired I will visit him on the farm. Thanks to trainer Lo Presti for the careful handling.
Susan Kayne More than 1 year ago
Turallure probably wasn't "in any distress" either .... until he "took a bad step" .... seriously, hasn't Dan taken enough good steps for you people...skirted enough danger? HOW can you -- with any conscience think of returning him to racing after all he has already done for you -- and for his fans, and -- all the people who love him. Love doesn't place a horse at risk, but GREED certainly does....
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
first of all, ide be fine if he was retired, but ask yourself this, a horse like him, does he not want to race again?! doubtful. he relishes competition, and knows how good he is! just like zenyatta, knowing all eyes were on her! he is the same way.
mike More than 1 year ago
You're absurd! Doubtful connections will run him ever again unless he's able. Perhaps you should send some of your anger to the Baffert camps,Pletcher,Lukas,etc. Yeah,right
tommy More than 1 year ago
Susan, wise dan is the bread winner of the family!!! If wise dan doesn't race, he will not have food on the table, nor will his owners do as well. Some people have to work hard in life just to make it!!! Every race this horse knows he has responsible to go and win the race !!!
Salvatore Agro More than 1 year ago
Psychiatric intervention.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Authorities at "tommy's" local psychiatric hospital are searching frantically for him, attempting to re-hospitalize him before he wreaks further havoc. This is what happens when he goes off his meds. (And from the looks of things, he's been on the loose for some time now.) Please help find him and return him to his safe home, where he will (hopefully) be restricted from any further postings on DRF.com.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The owner and trainer of Wise Dan have always erred on the side of caution. They have clearly stated He must be 100% or else he is retired. They have handled WD with the utmost care and respect So please take your meds and reduce those anger issues you have. You have clearly made yourself to be a fool once again.
Dennis Tierney More than 1 year ago
I remember when Kelso got a hairline fracture at age 9. The owner retired him immediately. Wise Dan will lose a step anyway at 8. Why be greedy?
Mike More than 1 year ago
I thought Kelso had an eye injury?
Susan Kayne More than 1 year ago
"we’re not going to risk hurting him to prove a point," says trainer Charlie LoPresti. And what point might this be......
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
that he hasn't lost it. and put him in the utmost supremacy of horse racing. if he was still healthy, he could go after curlins all time money leader status. there is no way in hell, that if this horse is not 110 percent, fink or lopresti let him run again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
are you not getting this. Lopresti will not let his ego dictate WD racing again just to prove that WD can race again. It's top of his game and 110% healthy or else he is retired. Again.. please take your meds
Zee Man More than 1 year ago
Having watched Wise Dan run over the years has been an absolute pleasure. You watch the last few races after he has had won and you see LoPresti hugging Wise Dan like he is his son. He just loves this horse like we all do. I think Lopresti will do what is right and run him if he is sound, or retire him if he shows any signs of being hurt. If he doesn't run again, I will remember his last race where he came out of the clouds to win. Luv you Dan.
James Mcrae More than 1 year ago
i just dont get it let this beuitifull animal spend the rest of his days turned out in some pasture where he can just relax and enjoy life he certainly has earned that nuch at least what is it that drives his owners to this decision is it greed are they broke or just plain stupid if he breaks down on the track they should be put down with him .
Mary Gomez More than 1 year ago
He has such a big fan base I could see him as a much-loved celebrity lead pony much like Lava Man if he doesn't make it back to racing.