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Handsome Mike Challenges Wise Dan

Handsome Mike (no. 3), ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and trained by Leandro Mora, wins the 33rd running of the grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby for three year olds on September 22, 2012 at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)

Reddam Racing’s Handsome Mike, winner of the Commonwealth (G3) here this spring on the main track, has returned to Keeneland to take a shot at reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan on the grass in Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

“He broke his maiden on the grass and ran second in the Generous (G3) in only his third start,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “We’ve thought that he might be better on the grass.”

Handsome Mike has not run on the grass since finishing 10th in the 1¼-mile Hollywood Derby (G1) last November.

“He won on the Polytrack here in the spring and really did well the time he was here,” Sisterson said of Handsome Mike, whose most recent start was a 10th-place finish in the Pat O’Brien (G2) on Polytrack at Del Mar. “He has trained well at Santa Anita since then.”

Handsome Mike represents half of the Reddam/O’Neill contingent this weekend as Rum Point will try to give Paul Reddam his third Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) victory to go with those of Great Hunter (2006) and Square Eddie (2008).

“He did not run last weekend in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita because we had Bond Holder for that,” Sisterson said of the FrontRunner winner. “Rum Point has been training well and Saturday he will run in blinkers for the first time.”



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Older Comments about Handsome Mike Challenges Wise Dan...

Dont think he has a shot but i will be rooting for Handsome Mike. If SilverMax was a little closer to the rail, I would actually give him a shot to take down Dan.

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