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Successful Dan Remains On Course for Woodward

Morton Fink's homebred Successful Dan remains on target to make his next start at Saratoga Race Course in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on August 31, trainer Charlie LoPresti said Wednesday.


The 7-year-old Successful Appeal gelding breezed a half-mile in 49.73 seconds Tuesday morning, ranking 10th of 23 horses at the distance. It was his first work since finishing a fast-closing second to Cross Traffic in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap Invitational on August 3.


"I'm very happy with him," LoPresti said. "I wanted him to go just as easy as he can go, and [exercise rider] Damien [Rock] said he just dragged him around there the whole way. He was well in hand. I didn't want a fast work. I didn't need a fast work; he's fit enough now off of that last race.


"I just want to keep him ticking," he said. "He'll probably have another work in between, and if everything goes right we'll run him in the Woodward. That's the plan. We're here, so we're going to stay."


Older half-brother to reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan, who ran his win streak to eight races in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on August 10, Successful Dan has shown no ill effects from the fall he took near the end of the path that leads from the paddock to the main track prior to the Whitney.


"He had one little scrape on his hock," LoPresti said. "It was a scratch. It didn't amount to a hill of beans. He's doing good. I've tried to figure out why that happened and how it happened. I led Wise Dan out there the other day, because I wanted to see what it was that caused that. I don't know. Something spooked him, because he's never been that kind of horse."


LoPresti did not see Successful Dan fall after the gelding got his back legs in a tangle and lost jockey Julien Leparoux, and the trainer has only seen one replay of the incident.


"I don't want to watch it," he said. "I saw it one time and I don't care if I ever see it again. It scared me."



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