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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Wise Dan vs. Point of Entry would be EPIC!

Wise Dan 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Can you imagine witnessing a Wise Dan – Point of Entry showdown on the Kentucky Derby undercard in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic? I mean just take a look at a tale of the bridle on each.
 
Wise Dan is the reigning Horse of the Year. He is 6-for-7 lifetime on the grass, and has not lost on the green stuff for more than a year and a half. As a matter of fact, his only defeat in that time period was a tough trip loss by a head to Ron the Greek in the Stephen Foster last June. In his last five races on turf, Wise Dan has won each time without any serious challenge, with the last four victories being of the grade 1 variety. He set out a clear signal that he has not lost a step off his championship form with a sharp return victory in the Maker’s 46 Mile on April 12 at Keeneland. 
 
Point of Entry also has four recent grade 1 victories on the turf to his credit, and similar to Wise Dan, no horse has been closer than a length to the impressive son of Dynaformer at the finish in any of those victories. He has won six of his last seven races, with his only loss coming after a less than ideal trip and narrow second place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Like Wise Dan, he has run only one time in 2013, and the result was excellent. Defeating Animal Kingdom in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Point of Entry ran what I consider to be among the most impressive performances turned in by any racehorse so far this year. 
 
Frankly, I didn’t think this perfect storm of a race had any chance of happening after Wise Dan’s trainer, Charles LoPresti said the Stephen Foster on June 15 would be his next race following his win at Keeneland. But then a few things happened, that may well alter that original plan, and send the two top horses on HRN's Fan Rankings headlong towards each other.
 
Most importantly, Wise Dan’s older brother, Successful Dan, came back with a solid win in the Ben Ali Stakes after a long layoff. This is so vital to the potential showdown because with Successful Dan back on the scene as one of the better older male dirt horses in the nation, a race like the Grade 1 Stephen Foster, at his home track, would make perfect sense for Successful Dan. LoPresti and owner, Morton Fink, have no want to run the Brothers Dan against one another.
 
Secondly, Wise Dan came out of his return race in perfect shape. This means coming back in 22 days for a huge test would likely not be too much, too soon for the Horse of the Year.
 
In Marty McGee’s article on the two Dans, yesterday on DRF, LoPresti had this to say about the recent developments and what it could mean for the Woodford Reserve.
 
“Wise Dan came out of the Maker’s so good that the Woodford is more possible than I initially thought. But there’s still a ways to go on that. If we did go that way, then that’d leave the Foster to Successful Dan.”
 
So he’s saying there’s a chance. That’s all I needed to start getting excited about what could go down on Kentucky Derby Day.
 
As far as handicapping who would win the race if such an epic showdown were to take place on May 4, I really would have no favorite. At a flat mile, I would certainly side with Wise Dan, the horse I believe who now holds the throne as the world’s best miler. At a 1 ¼ mile distance, though, I believe the stretch running power of Point of Entry would eventually wear down last year’s champion. But the Woodford Reserve is right in between the two.
 
At nine furlongs, and with both horses very much in their prime, A Wise Dan vs. Point of Entry meeting in the Woodford Reserve could be the best showdown on American turf since … since … I don’t know when.
 

 

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Older Comments about Wise Dan vs. Point of Entry would be EPIC!...

Dank would be a better match up over an extended mile
most impressive race I saw in person last year was Dan in the Woodbine Mile
long sprinter versus a marathoner? Pace will favor the former
Sucks that this never happened
The only problem I have is with the word epic.
as if one made a comparison of the physical attributes of a wrestler versus a high jumper.
must we still be talking about point of entry vrs wise dan there two different horses poe likes a mile and a quarter or more . wise dan likes 1 mile to a mile and one eighth so if you run the race at wise dans distances he will bust poes ass. but at a mile and a quarter its poe its simple guys
This will be a great race. I like Wise Dan, but I am a POE supporter
The interesting aspect is that John Velasquez rides both horses.Which one of these excellent horses will he choose? If he chooses Point Of Entry,I hope Jose Lezcano rides Wise Dan.He has ridden him flawlessly in his two victories on him.
well guys we all asked for it looks like we are going to get it . wow the kentucky derby plus wise dan vrs point of entry on the under card . doesnt get any better !!!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cannot wait for this race.
With Silver Max, Optimizer, Data Link, Jeranimo, and Slim Shadey all possible for the race, the Woodford Reserve has the potential to completely overshadow the Derby.
Yes indeed, Brian. Claire Novak over at BH has it on their front page that Lopresti has confirmed Wise Dan for the Woodford. I don't get truly excited about a race very often, but I haven't been this ecstatic about a race this century since Zenyatta's and Blame's BC Classic in 2010!
It looks like it is happening!
at churchill downs wise dan will beat point of entry easily turns are tight point of entruy will have tuff time getting to him . but at a mile and a quarter point of entry would win
at churchill downs wise dan will beat point of entry easily turns are tight point of entruy will have tuff time getting to him . but at a mile and a quarter point of entry would win
Over Wise Dan?
Good to hear Floridaf.
From what I understand, hdinky, Johnny V. is committed to Point of Entry.
Wise Dan put in a bullet 5f work in 59.60 (1/14) today at Keenland. If there was any doubt of his form before his debut, I think we can rest assured, the champ is going to be tough to beat in his next start. I really hope it is against Point of Entry.

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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.