After Wise Dan
turned in separate Saturday breezes at
Saratoga Race Course, trainer Charles LoPresti said he now has a better
idea of where he’ll run the half-brothers during the 2013 race meet.
Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan remains on course for a
title defense in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on August 10, while
Successful Dan is now under consideration
for the Grade 1, $750,000, Whitney Invitational Handicap on August 3,
according to LoPresti, who trains the geldings for Morton Fink.
Exercise rider Damien Rock was aboard for both workouts, with
Wise Dan breezing four furlongs in 51.24 seconds over a main track
labeled “good” and Successful Dan earning
a bullet for his five-furlong breeze in 1:00.61 after the track had
been upgraded to “fast.”
Successful Dan, a four-time graded stakes winner, was fourth in
the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 15 at Churchill Downs in his
most recent start.
“I was really on the fence what to do with [Successful Dan]
after he got up here,” said LoPresti of the 7-year-old. “His race in the
Foster was kind of a question. He
had never been beat at Churchill. A lot of those horses didn’t show up
that night. [The winner]
Larned ran a great race, but the rest of the
horses – Ron the Greek and Take Charge Indy – didn’t run their races.
Royal Delta didn’t run her race over that track [when second that night
in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap]. [Jockey
Julien Leparoux] told me [Successful Dan] was having trouble getting
hold of the ground, so I drew a line through [the race].”
Successful Dan’s breeze Saturday impressed LoPresti sufficiently
for the trainer to consider the Whitney. The trainer had hoped to run
Successful Dan in the Whitney
last year before the gelding was forced to miss the race with a
strained XYZ ligament.
“That was our plan last year, but it went south on us because of
injuries,” said LoPresti. “This horse has been plagued by injuries that
keep him from being the same
caliber as Wise Dan.”
LoPresti spoke in glowing terms when describing Wise Dan’s breeze.
“We didn’t go fast by design,” said LoPresti. “Damien said he
just held onto him the whole way. He was really strong galloping out and
going down the backside. [Wise
Dan] wanted to do more, obviously. He’s dead fit off those races. We’ll
probably take him over to the grass, maybe next week, and work him one
time for the Fourstardave.”
Wise Dan, a 6-year-old, has won seven straight races, a streak
that began with last year’s Fourstardave and includes the 2012 Breeders’
Cup Mile. The streak briefly
appeared in jeopardy last time out in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap
on June 29 at Churchill Downs when Wise Dan was shut off before he
squeezed through along the inside en route to a two-length win.
“I don’t have to prove anything or chase anybody,” said
LoPresti. “Now I got him where I want him. If he can repeat what he did
last year, I don’t have to win a Grade
1 on the dirt with him.”
Also on the main track worktab was
Enchanting Lisa, a
3-year-old half-sister to Wise Dan and Successful Dan who went four
furlongs in 51.51. Enchanting Lisa has made one start, a seven-length
victory on June 12 at Presque Isle Downs.