Race of the Week 2017

Successful Dan Works for Possible Whitney Engagement

Following his second straight bullet work at Saratoga Race Course, Successful Dan could make his next start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap on August 3.


The 7-year-old Successful Appeal gelding breezed five furlongs in 1:00.16 over the main track on Friday morning, much to the delight of trainer Charles LoPresti.


"He worked really good and galloped out real strong," LoPresti said of Successful Dan, whose time was the fastest of 28 horses at the distance. "We're real happy with him. He did everything I wanted him to do and more. I was real happy with what I saw.


"If we decide to run in the Whitney, that'll be his last work. I am very much leaning in that direction. It's going to be a day-by-day thing. I want to see how he acts all week, but I'm leaning in that direction."


LoPresti had targeted the Whitney last summer for Successful Dan, a Morton Fink homebred who missed the race - and the rest of the year - with a minor injury. He worked five-eighths in 1:00.61 on July 20.


"He strained a ligament, so we had to stop on him," LoPresti said. "He didn't tear it; it was a strain. We probably could have run in the race, but I might have risked it [being worse]."


A winner of eight of 13 career starts and $773,154, Successful Dan made a triumphant return to the races in April at Keeneland, going gate-to-wire to take the Grade 3 Ben Ali by a length over Boisterous.


Most recently, Successful Dan was fourth, beaten 15 lengths after encountering some traffic trouble in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster one June 15 at Churchill Downs.


"His first race back was super," LoPresti said. "He ran against Boisterous and Boisterous has come back and won two graded stakes, so that makes me feel good. I just draw a line through the Stephen Foster. If he runs like that again, he's an older horse and maybe he's lost a step, but I still don't see that yet."


Also probable for the Whitney are Alpha, Cross Traffic, Mucho Macho Man, and defending champion Fort Larned.


LoPresti will breeze Wise Dan on the Oklahoma training track turf Saturday morning at 9:45, as the 2012 Horse of the Year continues to work toward his next scheduled start in the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on August 10.


"He'll be the only horse over there on the turf," LoPresti said. "They're letting him work by himself. There's so many horses over there, and I don't want to risk it if a horse gets loose or something. I don't want anything to go wrong. They were really nice about letting me work over there.


"He's coming off three races and I don't want to kill him, but he's a fast work horse anyway, so he's going to work good," he added. "I know he will. That's why I don't work him often. The horse is dead fit."


LoPresti also said that Turallure, second by a head to Seal Cove in a one-mile optional claiming allowance at Saratoga on Wednesday, likely will come back in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap on August 31.


The 6-year-old Turallure won the Bernard Baruch in 2011 for LoPresti and owner Donna Arnold.


"He had to run that kind of race to redeem himself," LoPresti said of Wednesday's effort. "That was an allowance race, but it was really [like] a stakes race. I was tickled with him. He earned a trip to the Bernard Baruch. That's my plan with him. As long as he's good, and I think he is, he'll run back in there."     



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