Race of the Week 2017

Wise Dan Good to Go for BC Mile

Wise Dan WM13 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Trainer Charlie LoPresti said reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan came out of his runner-up effort in Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)  in good order and is pointing toward a defense of his title in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

“Those were not ideal conditions yesterday,” LoPresti said of the race that came off the turf and was run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track after Keeneland was hit by 1½ inches of rain in less than two hours. “I was a little disappointed that he lost, but he never stopped trying and was gaining on the winner (Silver Max).”

Wise Dan, breaking from the outside post in the 10-horse field, was bumped going into the first turn, floated wide and raced far off the rail the entire race in finishing 1¼ lengths behind Silver Max.

“I looked at the Trakus (stats) after the race and it showed he ran 40 feet farther than the winner,” LoPresti said. “That computes to losing about four lengths.”

Owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan will do the bulk of his training for the Breeders’ Cup here.

“We will make sure he is OK for the Breeders’ Cup and go out on the 29th (of October),” LoPresti said of a schedule that is similar to last year when Wise Dan shipped to California the middle of Breeders’ Cup week.

Finishing third, 3½ lengths behind Wise Dan was Willcox Inn, who earned $75,000 and pushed his career earnings past the million-dollar mark to $1,014,543. Trainer Mike Stidham was pleased with the effort from the 5-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday who races for Lael Stable and All In Stable.

“He’d just won the Washington Park Handicap (G3) on the Poly so it actually played in our favor to move to the Poly because he does not like soft turf, so I was hoping for it,” Stidham said, referring to Willcox Inn’s victory on Aug. 31 at Arlington Park. “(Jockey) James (Graham) sat back – they were going pretty fast up front. He kicked in and made a nice run down the stretch to pick up third money.”

Stidham said Willcox Inn is nominated to the Hagyard Fayette (G2) on closing day.

“We’ll look at that for sure,” he said.




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Older Comments about Wise Dan Good to Go for BC Mile...

According to HRTV's Millie Ball, who does the international report for the HRTV show "Pursuit of the Cup", Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamid Al Thani who owns both Toronado & Olympic Glory apparently now intends to send both horses to Santa Anita for this year's Breeders Cup Mile. This was confirmed apparently confirmed to Ball by Richard Hannon, Jr., assistant trainer to his father Richard Hannon who trains both Toronado & Olympic Glory. Ball also mentioned that recent G1 Prix Du Moulin winner, Maxios, is also being considered for a trip to Santa Anita for the BC Mile. Add the turn of foot that both Toronado & Olympic Glory have at a mile to the electric turn of foot show by Moonlight Cloud on Sunday in her G1 Prix De La Foret win and Wise Dan could have a much tougher row to hoe in this year's BC Mile than he did a year ago, IMO. Moonlight Cloud didn't fire in the race at all a year ago, but she'd been nothing short of spectacular this season at distances of 6-1/2f, 7f, and 8f.

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