Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Wise Dan Rolls in Point of Entry-less Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

Wise Dan 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

It may have been on the undercard, but the Wise Dan – Point of Entry showdown was one of the more anticipated races of this spring. Nothing could overshadow the Kentucky Derby, but this year’s Woodford Reserve Turf Classic was sure going to try. Unfortunately, a steady day-long rain transformed a firm turf into a grass course with too much cut for trainer, Shug McGaughey, who decided to scratch Point of Entry in the middle of the afternoon. With Point of Entry away, Wise Dan was free to play.

Sitting chilly under Jose Lezcano, Wise Dan tracked leaders Silver Max and Optimizer through solid early fractions of :23.93 for the quarter, and :48.51. Waiting for the perfect time to pounce, the pair made their move on the far turn, and by the time the field of seven straightened out, the 3-5 favorite was poised to strike the lead. From there, it was just a matter of the six-year-old chestnut gelding exerting his superiority over his outclassed competition. Wise Dan ended the suspense by the eighth pole and cruised home an authoritative 4 3/4 length winner.

The reigning Horse of the Year, is now 7-for-8 lifetime on the grass, and has not lost on the green stuff for more than a year and a half. As a matter of fact, his only defeat in that time period was a tough trip loss by a head to Ron the Greek in the Stephen Foster, right here at Churchill Downs, last June. In his last six races on turf, Wise Dan has won each time without any serious challenge, with the last five victories being of the grade 1 variety. He set out a clear signal that he has not lost a step off his championship form with a sharp start to his season with impressive wins in the Maker’s 46 Mile on April 12 at Keeneland, and now today’s grade 1 affair.

At nine furlongs, and with both horses very much in their prime, A Wise Dan vs. Point of Entry meeting in the Woodford Reserve could have been the best showdown on American turf in a long time. For Point of Entry, we’ll never know how he would have done against the champ, Wise Dan. What we did learn today is Wise Dan remains almost unbeatable in every race his connections choose to run, and if both of these excellent horses go on to win Breeders’ Cup races in the fall, I have to wonder if Wise Dan doesn’t get points for holding up his end of the bargain on Kentucky Derby Day.


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Older Comments about Wise Dan Rolls in Point of Entry-less Woodford Reserve Turf Classic...

heres how i feel about it wise dan can run on any surface .poe has to have a firm turf ?he still should have run the horse its not fair to the public . if poe cant run in the rain then take him to arizona where its dry bull shi-t excuse to scratch out.
Wise Dan got a 104 BSF for the easy win.
They have to meet at some point this year, especially since Lopresti and Fink were adamant about Wise Dan going longer this year.
You can't win much easier than Wise Dan just did.

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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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