Updated on 09/18/2013 8:51AM

Woodbine Mile: Wise Dan repeats with ease

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Michael Burns
Wise Dan sets a course record at Woodbine by winning the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in 1:31.75 on Sunday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Wise Dan, North America’s reigning Horse of the Year, became the first horse to win the $1 million Woodbine Mile twice on Sunday, when he lowered the course record in the 17th running of the Win and You’re In qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Wise Dan ($2.50) had a perfect stalking trip in third under John Velazquez in the Grade 1 event. Excaper and Dimension hooked up through fast fractions of 23.15 seconds, 45.44, and 1:08.50 before being overtaken in midstretch by Wise Dan, who drew off to score by 3 1/2 lengths over Za Approval.

Trade Storm rallied from sixth and last to finish another 1 1/4 lengths back in third. Riding the River wound up fourth in the race for the second straight year.

Over firm ground, the final time of 1:31.75 was 0.09 seconds lower than the previous record set by Royal Regalia in 2004.

“It’s a pleasure to be connected to this horse,” said Velazquez, who has won the Woodbine Mile a record four times, including last year on Wise Dan. “The things he’s done are incredible. He broke well, and I put him right behind the other two horses, and he got rank with me. [I wanted him] to come off the bridle a little bit. Once he did that, I waited until the five-sixteenths pole and let him ease out from those two horses, and as soon as he saw daylight, he went on.”

It was a record-tying third straight win in the race for trainer Charlie LoPresti, who also won it with Turallure in 2011.

“I feel like we’ve got a great horse,” LoPresti said. “I say it every time he runs, but what he did today was really impressive. I don’t know how much better he can get. There’s no sign that he’s slowing down, I can tell you that. Johnny said he had so much horse left that he couldn’t get him pulled up.”

Wise Dan earned $600,000 for owner and breeder Morton Fink, which boosted the 6-year-old gelding’s bankroll to $5,046,850.

Of the $685,361 that was wagered to show on the race, $617,584 was bet on Wise Dan.