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Wise Dan Bigger and Stronger This Year

Wise Dan and jockey John Velazquez win the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.

The Wise Dan that leaves Tuesday for Santa Anita and the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on November 3 is a different animal than the Wise Dan that made his Breeders’ Cup debut in the Sprint (G1) two years ago at Churchill Downs.

“It’s like night and day. He’s bigger and stronger now and I always thought he was a better two-turn horse,” trainer Charles Lopresti said Wednesday morning as he watched Wise Dan gallop under exercise rider Damien Rock on the training track.

“He was just a 3-year-old and he jumped up and won the Phoenix (G3), which was a Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup. He didn’t run a bad race; he only got beat 2 ½ lengths and was stuck down on the inside.”

Owned by breeder Morton Fink, Wise Dan did not make his grass debut until the Firecracker (G2) in July 2011.

“I was actually hoping to get him in an allowance race, but it didn’t fill,” Lopresti said. “I worked him on grass for the first time two weeks before the Firecracker. I was on the backside and did not see it all but the folks on the front side said he came home in :23 and they saw what we see when he works here.”

Wise Dan, by Wiseman’s Ferry, has won four of five races on the turf at a mile and Lopresti can’t think of a better horse to take with him for his first trip to Santa Anita.

“Win, lose or draw, I know I have a good horse,” Lopresti said. “They are the best horses in the world, but this horse has done nothing wrong and I know he is fit.”                                                     




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Older Comments about Wise Dan Bigger and Stronger This Year...

This horse has been really quite impressive on all 3 surfaces, but I think turf is where he seems to be at his very best. I think it was the smart call on the part of Wise Dan's connections to point him at the BC Mile instead of the BC Classic. That said, he's never faced any horses on turf at a mile the caliber that he's gonna face when he squares with Excelebration at Santa Anita. Should be a real knock down, drag out affair between those 2 assuming the cream rises to the top in that race?

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