Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013,
opened his 2014 campaign with a three-quarter-length victory over Kaigun
to win the 26th running of the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) before a crowd of 14,325 on Friday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Charlie LoPresti and ridden by John Velazquez, Wise Dan covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.91.
The victory extended Wise Dan’s Keeneland record of graded stakes
wins to six and gave Fink his eighth graded stakes victory here. Fink
received a gold tray as part of Keeneland’s signature graded stakes
trophy program. Only 18 other owners in Keeneland history have achieved
such an accomplishment.
Wise Dan’s older half-brother Successful Dan accounted for Fink’s other two graded stakes victories at Keeneland.
Alakazan Alakazan (BRZ) set the early pace with Za Approval and
Gentleman’s Kitten in closest pursuit through fractions of :23.97 and
:47.12 as Velazquez steered Wise Dan into the clear in the run down the
Approaching the far turn, jockey Orlando Bocachica sent Lochte after
the leaders with Wise Dan also on the move through six furlongs in
1:11.03. The two hooked up briefly at the head of the stretch before
Wise Dan kicked clear and had more than enough to hold off Kaigun.
It was the ninth Grade 1 victory for Wise Dan, now 7. The gelding has
won a Grade 1 race in each of the past four years and increased his
overall record to 28-20-2-0. In notching his 16th graded stakes win, Wise Dan added $180,000 to his bankroll to increase his earnings to $6,473,610.
Wise Dan also joins Kip Deville (2007-2008) as the only repeat winner of the race.
A Kentucky-bred son of Wiseman’s Ferry out of the Wolf Power (SAF)
mare Lisa Danielle, Wise Dan returned $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Kaigun,
the longest shot on the board in the field of six with Alan Garcia
riding, returned $12.40 and $5.40 with Lochte finishing 4 ¼ lengths back
in third and returning $2.80 to show.
It was another 1¼ lengths back to Za Approval in fourth. Gentleman’s Kitten finished fifth and Alakazan Alakazan was sixth.