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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Successful Dan Makes Whitney Decision Look Wise


Some went as far as to say the owner of Wise Dan was acting like a fink for not running the reigning Horse of the Year in the most difficult race as possible. A race just like this past Saturday's Whitney Handicap. Fans and media types alike have been relentless in their incessant push to have the horse run outside of the familiar formula that has seen seven straight smashing scores.

Never mind that Wise Dan has proven to be one of the best, if not the very best thoroughbred runner in America over the past few years. 

Never mind that Wise Dan has already proven to be versatile as hell, but probably best over middle distances on the lawn. 

Never mind that he wasn’t exactly running against nags in those seven races; five were grade 1 and two were grade 2.

Never mind that as a horse of six-years-old, turf is probably a surface that is best for both his health and longevity. 


And finally, never mind that the sole owner of the fantastic son of Lisa Danielle is named Morton Fink.


A new wrinkle, or make that, an old wrinkle may have given the beaters of ‘the Wise Dan needs to do more’ drum, cause for pause. This symbol of reason came in the form of his seven-year-old brother, Successful Dan


The son of Successful Appeal (making him a half to the 2012 Horse of the Year), made his third start of the season the other day, and it happened to be a pip. Already a grade 1 winner himself (yes, I know the stewards took that one away from him), to many the elder Dan went into the Whitney Handicap as the wrong Dan. The performance should have gone a long way in flipping (apologies for the bad pun) that belief. 


Despite a tumultuous leadup to the race itself, Successful Dan ran his eyeballs out as the stable second-string. A far from perfect trip proceeded a fast finishing second place in one of the best races in the nation this year. 


Now maybe Morton Fink and Wise Dan can win the Fourstardave with some peace. 


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Older Comments about Successful Dan Makes Whitney Decision Look Wise ...

Exactly!what is wrong with you people????... leave the horse alone!!!!!!!! he needs to stay on what he's used to and knows and has consistency on. If anything try him over long distance turf please! not dirt! he hasn't ran in dirt in a whole year, plus he has only been on dirt a few times. If they wanted him to be on dirt they should have got him on dirt a loonnngg time ago.. but of course I'm happy they didn't, he's a fantastic turf horse
I'm glad Wise Dan didn't run in The Whitney,now I get to see the reigning Horse of the Year run in person this saturday up at Saratoga in the Fourstardave Handicap.
If I'm not mistaken last year worked out pretty well for Wise Dam. I'm pretty sure he was Horse of the Year. So why not try the same route again this year?

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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