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