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Wise Dan to be Paraded on Saturday

Wise Dan repeats in the Breeders Cup Mile.
Photo: Don August

Reining Horse of the Year Wise Dan, a leading contender to repeat that honor after a second straight win in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI), will be paraded in the paddock at Churchill Downs on closing day, Saturday, Nov. 30.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti will van Wise Dan from his Keeneland barn in Lexington to Churchill Downs so local fans can show their appreciation to the 6-year-old gelding.  His special appearance will occur between Races 3 and 4 around 1:15-1:45 p.m.

Wise Dan, owned and bred by Mort Fink, won six of his seven starts this year, including a pair of stakes at Churchill Downs: the $546,400 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) on Kentucky Derby Day and the $168,450 Firecracker Handicap (GII) in late June.

His three-quarters of a length victory over Za Approval in the $1,840,000 Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 improved his overall record to 19 wins in 27 starts. His $6,293,610 career bankroll ranks 22nd on the North American all-time earnings list.

Wise Dan, a six-time winner at Churchill Downs dating back to 2010, ranks third on the most current “Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings” – behind Black Caviar-AUS and Treve-FR – which ranks 3-year-olds and up that raced between Jan. 1 and Oct. 6.

The wintry blast that has settled over Churchill Downs this week forced trainer Steve Asmussen out of his regular training schedule for two stars being pointed toward Thanksgiving Weekend races at Churchill Downs, but the Eclipse Award winner ad-libbed and worked both Clark Handicap contender Prayer for Relief and Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) hope Tapiture just after the track opened for training on Wednesday. 

Zayat Stables’ Prayer for Relief breezed four furlongs over a fast surface in :50.40. Exercise rider Abel Flores was up when the 5-year-old son of Jump Start covered the distance in splits of :12.80 and :25.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.40.

The veteran Prayer for Relief has a career record of 23-7-5-4 and lifetime earnings of $1,530,405, which makes him one of three millionaires in the Clark. This will be the horse’s second attempt to land a Clark. He was trained by Bob Baffert when he finished ninth to Mort Fink’s future Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the 2011 Clark.   

Ron Winchell’s Tapiture, who is winless in three races but ran a close third to Donegal Racing’s Cleburne in Churchill Downs’ Iroquois (GIII) in September, worked a half-mile under Flores in :50.60. Internal fractions for the son of Tapit were :12.60 for an eighth and :25 for the quarter.

Although he is searching for his first win, Tapiture has kept strong company in his races. He was runner-up to eventual Hopeful (GI) winner Strong Mandate in his Saratoga debut and ran third in the Iroquois in his next outing. 

He disappointed in his most recent outing when he finished third as the favorite in a one-mile maiden race on “Stars of Tomorrow I” day on Oct. 27, the opening day of the Fall Meet. But the winner that day was Culprit, who will meet Tapiture again in the Kentucky Jockey Club.     



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