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Wise Dan Targets Fourstardave

Wise Dan takes the 2010 Phoenix

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 trainer said.

 

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 it.”

 

 

 

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