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Zipse At The Track

If Wise Dan were to be beaten...

Wise Dan repeats in the Breeders Cup Mile.
Photo: Don August

 

When the grand gelding makes his way into the Keeneland starting gate tomorrow for the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile, it will mark his first start of 2014. Now seven, Wise Dan has already etched his name in racing’s history books through his many accomplishments. As the reigning two-time Horse of the Year, the Morton Fink owned, and Charles LoPresti trained chestnut has been the horse to beat in every race he’s competed in the past few years. When you are the King of the hill, there is always someone out there that wishes to knock you off your lofty perch. A year older, and away from the races for more than five months, tomorrow’s test in Kentucky’s bluegrass would seem to be an opportunity for his challengers to jump up and enjoy their day in the sun. If Wise Dan were to beaten, there are some solid candidates to turn the trick.


Lochte was the breakout turf star of the winter. He ran solidly to be first, second, and third in his first three turf races of his career last year, but has turned things up considerably in 2014. After a sharp allowance score in South Florida, he jumped up into grade 1 competition to score a convincing upset in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Since then he headed west, and while he did not get the win, a solid runner-up in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita only pointed out his rise to prominence in the division. Just behind Lochte in the Kilroe was a familiar foe to Wise Dan.


Live Oak Plantation’s striking gray runner Za Approval squared off against Wise Dan twice last year, and in both instances he ran big to finish second, including playing bridesmaid to the champion in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. That was his last start in 2013, but unlike Dan, he does have the benefit of having one race recently under his belt. His fourth in the Kilroe Mile, beaten less than two lengths, was not his best performance, but it wasn’t a poor performance by any means. Any improvement in the second start of the year for the Christophe Clement charge could make him Wise Dan’s most formidable opponent.


Even newer to high class turf racing than Lochte is Reload. Owned by the powerful Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey, Reload has discovered a career renaissance since switching to grass two starts ago. After a nondescript 15 race career on the main track, Reload impressed while winning an allowance race smartly in January, before shooting up the rail to score in the Grade 2 Canadian Turf Stakes six weeks ago. Perfect in two starts on turf, the five-year-old son of Hard Spun has found a tough spot to try to remain perfect.


If Wise Dan were to beaten, those would be the likely candidates. The problem for them is that Wise Dan is rarely ever beaten. Can you even remember the last time he lost a turf race? It’s fair to think that maybe he can be surprised tomorrow, but I will not be wasting any money on the idea. Wise Dan has proven to be just too good to expect anything other than another victory. Enjoy the champ tomorrow, my friends. 

 

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Older Comments about If Wise Dan were to be beaten......

If you love horses that win, today's G1 winners, Wise Dan and Close Hatches, should be right up your alley ... Combined 27 for 38 lifetime.
now that's a champion.
it's all dan the man.
za approval will upset dan , single in p.4
Suffolk is open for simulcasting (PS)
Hope they legalized gambling in Georgia or you are at your namesakes state. You will be paid nicely if that ever came in.
I like Alakazan Alakazan for the huge upset.
As i said before,Wise Dan based on his speed figures that he runs. He is the fastest turf miler in the past 20 years. That being said,today at Kee is the perfect example of what is wrong with Horse Racing today,and the true meaning of competetive racing. One thing Dan has shown in the past,he needs nobodys help,let alone the track clerk of scales. Here is my point. The race is at a mile.Dan is the 2 time repeat winner of the Horse of The Year Honor. He has won more G1 races than the entire field maybe won races. He won the BC Mile in back to back years. How does Dan get to carry 123 Lbs. and Zitos horse Alikazan Alikazan,who can't even win an Allowance race carry 118 Lbs. Is that the difference in the minds of the knuckleheads who run Keeneland. Why didn't they just give Dan the winners share of $180,000 and add $20K to the purse and run a competetive $200K race. 5 lbs that is the only difference. Mind boggling the favors that are done. I do not know if these weights are scaled or not. Either way it truly is a joke. Dan must be laughing all the way to the bank.v
The group that ran last Saturday were stronger
Shug ducked out again this year.
I play against heavy chalks. It can be an uphill battle when dealing with a champion. I will say if he is beaten I expect it to be from a speed type who gets away somehow. Wise Dan may be unbeatable here but at 1-5 he is also unbettable.
Long live the champ!
He hasn't lost on turf since 2011 and I don't think it's about to happen.
Way to beat the horse is Lochte, if he's good enough...
I have tried to beat him so many times in the past, it did not prove a lucrative strategy and I gave up on it. Very excited to see the big horse run tomorrow!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.