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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Wise Dan: Brave, Smart, and Classy

Wise Dan wins 2013 Firecracker at Churchill Downs.
Photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer


I am going to keep today’s blog short and sweet …

Say what you will about the path of slightly less resistance chosen by owner, Morton Fink, and trainer, Charles LoPresti, for their superstar, Wise Dan, but I am here to tell you last night’s Firecracker performance was anything but mundane.

Bottled up like month-old cream soda for most of the race, the Horse of the Year demonstrated bravery, intelligence, and class as he powered through a hole between the leader and the Churchill Downs’ hedges that for all intents and purposes was not there.

Forget about giving all the other horses double digits in pounds. Forget that the Louisville weather was something out of the sinking of the Andrea Gail. Wise Dan’s win last night was yet another example of what an outstanding racehorse he is.

It was a pure joy to watch ... and that’s all I have. 



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Older Comments about Wise Dan: Brave, Smart, and Classy...

I thought he broke down inside the 1/16 pole. Thank god it was just a bobble.
Sure made a believer out of me. He just powered through the tiny space by the hedge like a fast freight train. Thrilling to see.
That move still amazes me...no guts, no glory.
Brian, nothing more was required. Sometimes short and sweet is best, when you are talking about a great horse like this one. He does his own talking.
One other thing this race demonstrated -- to me anyway -- that short fields don't always mean easy field position.
Since Dan is a gelding, he is not building on his stud resume, so it is not as important to stick to Grade 1 races. I'm thinking the Wise Dan team wants to keep their horse happy and loving his job so he will be able to be around longer. We probably should not try to second-guess connections' management decisions and let Dan's story play out however it will. This race just shows that no race is a slam dunk or "too easy", that anything can happen and often does! The fact that Dan had to work a little bit just made what should have been a slam dunk race for him a thrilling one for the fans!
Great post Brian, I didn't see the big deal with LoPresti running Wise Dan in the Firecracker, he hasn't ducked yet and there's nothing wrong with placing your horse well.
You don't have to say much about Dan anyway. He does his onw talking on the track and he is a very good talker.
There was seemingly no room to get through there. Gutsy trip by Velasquez--at one point he looked like he was just hanging on
Great race horses find a way to win! Black and Decker should use Wise Dan as the promoter of their hedge clippers!

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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, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

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 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 consults for leading contest site Derby Wars, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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