He is sending out winners in 2010 at almost a 30-percent clip. On Friday, he notched his first graded stakes victory at Keeneland when Wise Dan won the Phoenix (G3), but trainer Charles Lopresti is not walking on air.
“My feet had better be on the ground,” Lopresti said Saturday morning. “This game can change in a minute.”
It took only a bit more than a minute Friday for Wise Dan to earn a spot in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run November 6 at Churchill Downs.
“He looks like he is OK this morning. We were all pretty happy,” Lopresti said. “We haven’t decided yet (on the Breeders’ Cup), but I think we’ll go. We want to see how he trains. He will stay here and then go over Breeders’ Cup week.”
Wise Dan was making his first start in more than five months in the Phoenix and became the first 3-year-old to win the race since Deposit Ticket in 1991.
“I was more inclined to run him in a ‘two other than’ allowance race off the layoff but Mort (owner Morton Fink) said, ‘Don’t worry about it. If you like him that much, run him. I’ll take all the blame,’ ” Lopresti said.
Even if Wise Dan does not go to the Breeders’ Cup, Lopresti figures to have a starter in the World Championships with Marianne and Brandon Chase’s Here Comes Ben for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on November 6. Here Comes Ben is 4-for-4 in 2010 with two of the victories coming at Churchill Downs.
Lopresti previously had won four stakes at Keeneland in the 1990s, but none was graded.
“I remember when I first came here, I had six horses,” said Lopresti, who now has 16 horses in his barn.
Another one of the 16 in the barn runs today in the fifth race: Successful Dan. Owned and bred by Fink, Successful Dan is the 4-year-old half-brother Wise Dan.