won the first graded race of his career on Friday when he captured the Alysheba Stakes (G3) by a nose at Churchill Downs.
Wise Dan was intent on the early lead from the rail and took the field through solid splits on :23.56, :47.49, and 1:11.95. He was tracked intently by Regal Ransom and the Godolphin colorbearer was traveling smoothly around the far turn.
It was a mad scramble in the lane with Regal Ransom narrowly in front and Caracortado split horses toward the inside. Mission Impazible, First Dude, and Equestrio were also on the move.
Regal Ransom was able to fend off Caracortado but could not withstand the late surge of First Dude. Equestrio was right there in 3rd and was followed across the line by Awesome Gem, Giant Oak, Caracortado, Mission Impazible, Wise Dan, and Demarcation. Icabad Crane and Jardim scratched.
First Dude placed in multiple stakes races for Dale Romans as a 3-year-old in 2010 including the Preakness, Belmont, and Travers. He switched to the Bob Baffert barn earlier this year and got a confidence boosting entry level allowance win at Santa Anita April 9. He has started to relax in his races and that seems to be the key to his recent success.
Martin Garcia rode the $9.20 winner for owner Donald Dizney. He completed his mile and a sixteenth trip in 1:45.56.