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LoPresti Hopes Successful Dan Makes Grade in Foster

Mort Fink’s homebred Successful Dan is a four-time graded stakes winner and trainer Charlie LoPresti hopes he will record his first Grade I triumph in Saturday’s $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi at Churchill Downs.
 
“That would be the ultimate,” LoPresti said. “I’d like to see him get a Grade I.”
 
It will be the first start in a Grade I for Successful Dan since the 2010 Clark Handicap when he crossed the line first, but was disqualified and placed third by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Stewards for interfering with Redding Colliery entering the stretch.
 
Successful Dan, older brother of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan, did not race in 2011 due to a suspensory injury and he incurred similar injuries in 2009 after winning the Northern Dancer (GIII) at Churchill Downs and in 2012 following a runner-up effort to Fort Larned in the Cornhusker Handicap (GIII) last June.
 
“It’s been frustrating,” LoPresti said. “That’s the best way to put it. Had he not been plagued with the injuries he’s been plagued with, you probably would have seen a potential Horse of the Year in him at some point.”
 
In his first start since the Cornhusker, Successful Dan won the Ben Ali (GIII) on the Polytrack at Keeneland and LoPresti said the 7-year-old gelded son of Successful Appeal needed the race.
 
“I think there’s no doubt,” LoPresti said. “He’d been off for a while. Historically, his second race (off a layoff) has been even better. He’s 110-percent right now. I couldn’t have him any better.”
 
LoPresti said Successful Dan will travel to Churchill Downs from his barn at Keeneland on Saturday morning. In the Stephen Foster, he will face a competitive group of older horses, including Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned, defending Stephen Foster champ Ron the Greek and Take Charge Indy, six-length winner of the Alysheba (GII). 
 
“I think Fort Larned has to be respected an awful lot,” LoPresti said. “He’s the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner. The other horse I’d worry about is Ron the Greek, who beat Wise Dan by a head last year. Those are the two I fear the most.”
 
The Foster is one of five graded stakes races Saturday and will be run in prime time under the lights on the first of three Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka programs. The first of 11 races will be 6 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Foster is scheduled as Race 8 at 9:39 p.m.
 
The theme for Saturday’s Downs After Dark racing and entertainment celebration is “The White Party” and on-track guests are encouraged to wear an all-white wardrobe.
 

 

What the Nation is saying about LoPresti Hopes Successful Dan Makes Grade in Foster...

Me too
Call me nepotistic but I am partial to Wise Dan and his whole Dan family.

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