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Breeders Cup 2015

Wise Dan Has Strong Shadwell Turf Drill

Wise Dan takes the 2010 Phoenix

At this time last year, Wise Dan made a splash in the sprint ranks with a sharp victory in the Phoenix (G3) at Keeneland. Fast forward to the present and it is on the turf where Wise Dan is turning heads.


On Monday morning, Wise Dan worked a half-mile in :46.20 around the “dogs” over a firm turf course as a final tuneup for Saturday’s $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).


“Holy smokes. He’s a different horse on grass,” trainer Charlie Lopresti said as Wise Dan finished his work with jockey Jon Court up.


“He went off easy and I had him coming home the last quarter in :22 and change.”


Clockers got Wise Dan going the opening quarter-mile in :24 and then galloping out five furlongs in :58.40.


Until this summer, Wise Dan never had trained on the grass.


“I had not considered it before,” Lopresti said. “The only time he had been on grass was galloping up the hills at my farm. The only thing I ever said about him was I thought he’d be a better horse going long.”


Wise Dan was nominated to the Firecracker Handicap (G2) on July 4 on turf at Churchill Downs and a week before he got his first turf work at Churchill Downs with Court up.


“The first part of it, he was swapping leads and didn’t know what he was doing, but he came home in 23 seconds,” Lopresti said. “I talked it over with (owner) Morton (Fink) and we decided to take a shot.”


Wise Dan won the one-mile Firecracker by 2¾ lengths with Court aboard and a turf star was born.


“There were no mile turf races at Saratoga, so that’s why I didn’t take him there,” Lopresti said of Wise Dan, who is undefeated at the distance in three starts.”I took him up to Presque Isle (for the Mile on September 9) and that set him up perfect for this.”


The Shadwell Turf Mile is a “Win and You’re In” race for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run November 5 at Churchill Downs. Lopresti already has one horse headed that way in Woodbine Mile (G1) winner Turallure, who is scheduled to work on the main track here Tuesday morning.




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