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Lopresti Looks Ahead to BC for Wise Dan

Wise Dan and Jose Lezcano win the 27th running of the Shadwell Turf Mile Grade 1 $750,000 at Keeneland Racecourse for owner Morton Fink and trainer Charles Lopresti. October 6, 2012.

With Saturday’s $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) now in his rearview mirror, trainer Charles Lopresti can look ahead to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita next month for stable star Wise Dan.

“I knew I did the right thing by the way he ran,” said Lopresti, who brought Wise Dan back to the races three weeks after a victory in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1). “I was concerned going in because of the new rider (Jose Lezcano, who filled in for John Velazquez, who had a prior commitment at Belmont Park) and traffic with a lot of horses.”

Lezcano kept Wise Dan in the clear the whole way, sweeping to the lead coming off the final turn and cruising to a 2¼-length triumph over Willcox Inn.

“It worked out perfect,” Lopresti said of the victory over 11 rivals that was the fourth at Keeneland for Wise Dan, who is owned by breeder Morton Fink. “It was like a workout for him.”

The four victories tie Wise Dan with Take Charge Lady for the most stakes victories at Keeneland. Wise Dan also has won the 2010 Phoenix (G3), 2011 Fayette (G2) and 2012 Ben Ali (G3). Take Charge Lady won the 2001 Alcibiades (G2), 2002 Ashland (G1) and the 2002 and 2003 Spinster (G1).

Lopresti said Wise Dan likely would have one work here at Keeneland before shipping to Santa Anita.

“I know you have to be out there by Wednesday (October 31) and I would like get there as close to the race as possible,” Lopresti said of Wise Dan, who has won his past three starts on turf by a combined 10½ lengths.

Wise Dan also is a Grade 1 winner on dirt. Although the 5-year-old Wiseman’s Ferry gelding earned a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on grass on November 3 with his Woodbine victory, there is a $5 million carrot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) that same day.

“I am going to talk it over with (owner) Mr. (Mort) Fink, but we will probably stick with the Mile,” Lopresti said. “I am a little concerned about the track out there being a bit loose and speed favoring. For him to run on a track that he never has been on and face a horse like Game On Dude that has won over the track would be like throwing him to the wolves.”




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