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HRN Original Blog:
Past the Grandstand

Wise Dan: America's Horse

Wise Dan SA 615 X 400
Photo: Terri Cage Photography


For at least a moment, forget any complaints you may have about Wise Dan’s connections and their decision to keep the 2012 Horse of the Year within his comfort zone. Overlook any time the six-year-old gelding may have caused you to lose a bet, or defeated one of your favorite horses. Focus on the brilliance Wise Dan possesses, the thrill he brings to the races, and the longevity of his career. This horse is a blessing to American racing.

Some say horse racing is a dying sport and although this theory can be disputed, it is clear that the general public should have greater exposure to the industry we love, allowing them to see the beauty and excitement of racing. And one of the best ways for them to experience this is through horses like Wise Dan.

In recent years, American racing has been fortunate enough to share superstars like Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta with those who do not closely follow the sport. While some of those people remained avid fans of racing, many of them left when those mares retired. They need to be drawn in again.

Wise Dan is a horse that could do just that. Sure, he’s not a speedy filly defeating the males in prestigious races like Rachel Alexandra or an undefeated mare accumulating one suspenseful victory after another like Zenyatta, but he is a gifted, consistent gelding with a winning streak of his own, undeniable talent, and a path winding in the direction of greatness.

Although it is his connections’ plans to keep the champion in mile-long turf races, Wise Dan’s performances remain electrifying. His goals don’t currently include the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Dubai World Cup but that does not prevent him from being a gifted, exhilarating horse to follow. Despite not competing in the more famous races, Wise Dan could easily draw fans in with his growing winning streak and indisputable brilliance.

Moreover, Wise Dan is a gelding. At six years old, the Charlie Lopresti trainee certainly could have more years of racing ahead of him. This means more races and more time to attract fans. The longer he’s around, the more likely it is for him to gain loyal fans that will stick around.

Wise Dan has already taken a step in the right direction. On the Saturday Wise Dan captured his second consecutive Fourstardave Handicap en route to his eighth win in a row, attendance at Saratoga increased by 19%, whereas handle went up by 8%. A trending topic on Twitter, Wise Dan’s win was televised on national television through NBC.

While some in the racing industry may be bored by Wise Dan’s campaign, those with less knowledge of the sport could certainly gain an interest in this talented horse. His greatness and the competitiveness of his races may be debatable, but the fact that he should be shared with a greater audience is not.

Wise Dan could introduce a multitude of new fans to the sport. So, take that moment to forget any reservations you may have against him and fill that moment with respect for the horse. Then tell others about him. I did. As a result, Wise Dan gained a handful of additional fans who now eagerly await his next race. Isn’t that we, as people who love the sport of racing, should strive to do: respect our athletes and bring new fans to the Sport of Kings? 


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Older Comments about Wise Dan: America's Horse...

"America's Horse" OMG can you even say that on this site?
It is a well established fact that North American turfers are poor cousins to their Europen counterparts and have been for some time...The difference is increasing with each passing year.
I don't even see where the arguably part comes from? Who can be argued to be better than him in the U.S.? If you don't have a bias against surface or distance, I just don't see how you can attempt to argue any horse in the U.S. in the same league. Send him to Europe already. If he wins there an folks still try to justify anything in the U.S. being better, then I don't know what to say.
Well said, Mary.
I for one do not want him to run in the classic. The BC Mile is prestigious, and The way he is dominating, he will be a legend who other Turf milers will measured up to. He could be the horse that brings Turf milers to the fore front with the dirt racing.
A solid versatile horse...will he ever run in the BC Classic?
I sure hope he races for years to come, whether it be in or outside his comfort zone.
Wise Dan is awesome... No doubt..
Thanks, Mary, I completely agree with you. Wise Dan is an amazing horse that deserves our respect and I hope he can keep running for a few more years.

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About Mary Cage


Mary Cage, a 19-year-old avid fan of horse racing, has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published with the websites of The BloodHorse and The Equine Chronicle, the American Quarter Horse Association's magazine America's Horse, and Southern Racehorse Magazine. Blogging about the sport of horse racing combines her love for horse racing and writing. In her personal horse experience, she has won several Appaloosa National Champion and Reserve World Champion titles in the show ring. 


Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a writer and marketing/communications specialist. She is currently attending Tarleton State University, where she is studying Agricultural Communications. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan as she writes about assorted horse racing topics.

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