10/13/2014 11:36AM

Wise Dan injured, will miss Breeders' Cup

Coady Photography
Wise Dan won the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 4 in his most recent start.

Wise Dan, a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, will miss the 2014 Mile because of an injured ankle.

Wise Dan’s injury, a non-displaced fracture in his right foreleg, was revealed in a press release Monday from the Breeders’ Cup. The injury, Wise Dan’s connections surmise, occurred when Wise Dan won the Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 4. Whether Wise Dan, a 7-year-old, can continue racing won’t be known until the injury fully heals.

“He was scheduled to breeze in a few days, and [trainer Charles LoPresti] checked him over to be sure he was 100 percent,” owner-breeder Mort Fink said in the release. “Unfortunately, Charlie noticed some swelling in his ankle and quickly decided to X-ray him to be sure everything was all right. The X-rays identified a non-displaced ‘half-moon-shaped’ fracture of the bottom of the cannon bone.”

Fink said Wise Dan would get 30 days of rest before any decisions regarding his racing future are reached.

“He is 7 years old with 30 starts in his career, so we'll let him show us what to do next,” Fink said. “We won't decide if he will return to training until we see if he heals perfectly because he has nothing left to prove. This is not a fracture that can be helped with surgery; he has to heal it on his own.”

Fink bred Wise Dan by mating the obscure sire Wiseman’s Ferry to his lone broodmare, Lisa Danielle, and the result was one of the best racehorses in recent history. The Shadwell Turf Mile was Wise Dan’s 14th straight turf win – all in Grade 1 or Grade 2 competition – and ran his career record to 23-2-0 from 31 starts. Wise Dan has won 15 of his 16 turf races and earned $7,552,920 during a career that began on Feb. 10, 2010, at Turfway Park.

This has been a difficult year for Wise Dan, a kind, classy chestnut who has been Horse of the Year two years running. In May, he underwent emergency surgery because of colic, and Wise Dan did not make it back to the races until Aug. 30, when he scored a desperate win in the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga.

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Wise Dan would have been favored at Santa Anita to become the second horse to win three straight Breeders’ Cup races. Only Goldikova, who won the Mile three years in a row, has pulled off the feat. His absence throws the 2014 Mile wide-open. The race could easily attract a full field this year, and for the first time in the Wise Dan turf-mile era, it will have no defined favorite.