HRN Original Blog:
Portrait of a Thoroughbred

Shadwell Turf Mile Day in Photos, Part I: The Wise Dan Experience

Wise Dan 2014 Shadwell 615 X 400 Heidi
Photo: Heidi E. Carpenter


In looking upon Wise Dan, the senses freeze in startling admiration of his deep shoulders, chestnut sweeps of muscle, and focused no-nonsense attitude. It is not until later, after the haze of time cloaks the experience, that you are able to speak clearly of witnessing the great horse.

Seeing Wise Dan is indeed an experience, and this has been particularly true since his recovery from abdominal surgery in May this year. That the gelding made it back to the races at all is cause for celebration. Yet he has gone above and beyond by winning in ferocious style, having lost none of his competitive fire. If anything, enduring surgery seems to have have lent him more spark.

Two-time Horse of the Year, colic surgery survivor, and lasting legend--that's Wise Dan.


(Above & below) Wise Dan's presence filled the paddock prior to the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.


Owner Morton Fink (background, in black hat) looks on as his champion horse is saddled.


Ready for the walking ring.


In the walking ring, trainer Charlie LoPresti confers with jockey John Velazquez as Wise Dan waits in the background.


Wise Dan heads to the track as his fans look on.

(Above & below) Wise Dan is poised in the post parade.

Silver Max, Robby Albarado up, won the 2013 edition of the Shadwell Turf Mile, which had been moved to the main track after torrential rains rendered the turf a bog.


Seek Again, Joel Rosario up, was expected to be a possible challenger.


(Above & below two) Wise Dan is left behind at the start of the Shadwell Turf Mile.



(Above & below) But a slow start doesn't faze the great horse and he breezes by the field with little effort.


Emotions overcome Charlie LoPresti, wife Amy LoPresti, and Leona Velazquez as they await Wise Dan's return to the winner's circle.


Accompanied by the outrider, Wise Dan returns to cheers and applause from the appreciative Keeneland crowd.


John Velazquez gives Charlie LoPresti a hug.


The gelding demonstrates that the race didn't take much out of him through his feisty antics in the winner's circle.


Wise Dan heads back to the barn amid more cheers and applause from the crowd.


Wise Dan's connections pose with the Shadwell Turf Mile trophy in the winner's circle.


The Shadwell Turf Mile trophy is taken back inside for another year. With a little luck, Wise Dan will see it again next year. 


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 Meet Heidi Carpenter


An equestrian since 1986, Heidi has loved horses for as long as she can remember. She fell in love with the sport and history of Thoroughbred racing as a young girl after reading about the great champions of yesteryear, including Man o' War, Lexington, Equipoise, and Citation.

Heidi has a great interest in the stories, connections and images abound in Thoroughbred racing. She also enjoys studying pedigrees and racing history.

Heidi lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband (who is also a racing fan) and four cats, and has her beloved horse, Limerick, boarded nearby. Registered as Amanda Bry, Limerick is a 1991-model OTTB mare that Heidi has had since 1996. Heidi also runs Racing Reviewer.

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