Trainer Charles Lopresti only has five horses on the grounds, but two
of them rank among the top runners in training.
Lopresti, in his third meet based at Saratoga, is pointing 5-year-old Wise Dan toward the Grade 2, $500,000
Fourstardave Handicap, a one-mile turf race on August 11. His 6-year-old Successful Dan will run in the Grade 1,
$750,000 Whitney Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile dirt race and one of the marquee events
of the meet, on August 4.
Choosing objectives would look complicated, considering Wise Dan
finished second in his most recent start – on the dirt – last month
in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs, beaten on the line by Ron the
Greek. Yet, Lopresti wants to keep his aces apart, and Wise Dan is as flexible
as they come, having run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, winning the Grade 2
Firecracker at a mile on grass at Churchill and placing in top company on dirt.
His victory in the Grade 3 Ben Ali in April at Keeneland earned a 117 Beyer
Speed Figure, the highest ever on a synthetic track.
“He ran a great race in the Firecracker, a great race in the Ben
Ali and I wanted to watch him work over the grass [at Saratoga], and I think
he’s a better mover on the grass,” said Lopresti after sending Wise
Dan out Friday morning to a five-furlong grass work in 1:02.76 and change under
exercise rider Damien Rock. “Successful Dan is doing well and Wise Dan is
doing well and I want to keep them apart.”
Lopresti’s primary base is at Keeneland, where he has
approximately 20 horses in the care of his wife, Amy. Thirty more are on his
farm in Lexington, Ky.
Successful Dan has been no slouch himself, having won five of his past
seven starts, including a victory two starts back in the Grade 2 Alysheba in
which he earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure.
“We breezed him at Keeneland, and I’ll work him here the
next couple days,” Lopresti said. “We galloped him a couple miles
today [Friday]. He’s coming off that good race at Prairie Meadows [second
to Fort Larned in the Grade 3 Cornhusker on June
30]. He’s dead fit.”
Lopresti’s other star, the crack turfer Turallure, is on the
shelf with bone bruises. “It’s not career-ending,” the
Lopresti will send out horses this summer at Ellis Park and Presque
Isle, but he plans on spending the summer at Saratoga.
“It’s more of what a racetrack is supposed to be
like,” he said. “Horses that come up here from Keeneland, they love