Race of the Week 2017

Wise Dan Sharp in BC Mile Workout

Wise Dan and Jose Lezcano win the 27th running of the Shadwell Turf Mile Grade 1 $750,000 at Keeneland Racecourse for owner Morton Fink and trainer Charles Lopresti. October 6, 2012.

Morton Fink’s Wise Dan, impressive winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on October 6 and one of the top contenders for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on November 3 at Santa Anita, completed his major work for his California test by working five furlongs on the main track in 1:00.40 on a cool, clear Saturday morning.

With regular exercise rider Damien Rock up and working on his own at 6:30 a.m., Wise Dan posted fractions of :12, :23.60, :35.60, :47.60 and out six furlongs in 1:14.40.

“That was perfect. That’s just the way he is; it just looks like he is loping out there,” trainer Charles Lopresti said. “This has worked out perfectly. I got to run him in the Shadwell rather than working him three times (from the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile on September 16 to the Breeders’ Cup).”

Wise Dan is scheduled to ship to California on Tuesday, October 30, with Lopresti heading out the day before.

“I’m just going to piddle with him next week and keep him happy,” Lopresti said. “He spends a lot of time down on the little (training) track and we mix it up. He will train here the Tuesday morning before he ships that day. He’ll have a walk day Wednesday to get over the ship and then train Thursday and school in the paddock.”

A Grade 1 winner on dirt and grass, the 5-year-old Wise Dan has won 12 of 19 starts and bankrolled almost $2.5 million. At the mile distance on turf, the Wiseman’s Ferry gelding has won four of five starts with his lone setback coming in last fall’s Shadwell Turf Mile, in which he finished fourth behind champion Gio Ponti.

“I think I’ve got him figured out and less is more with him,” Lopresti said. “I think he has gotten a lot more confident as he has gotten older and he likes the turf.”


Four other Breeders’ Cup hopefuls also worked this morning.

Lael Stables and All In Stable’s Willcox Inn worked for the first time since his runner-up finish to Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf Mile. With assistant Hilary Pridham aboard for trainer Mike Stidham, the 4-year-old Harlan’s Holiday colt worked four furlongs in :48.60.

Clockers caught Willcox Inn in splits of :12.60, :24.80, :37.20, :48.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.60.

“He starts off nice and relaxed and finishes with a lot of energy; he finished the last eighth in :11 and change and then a good gallop out all the way around the turn, and that’s what we wanted,” Stidham said.

Stidham said Willcox Inn would have one more work in a week, then ship to California on October 28.

Shortleaf Stable’s Atigun and Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Golden Ticket, two 3-year-olds trained by Ken McPeek, each worked five furlongs under Danny Ramsey.

Atigun, who is pointed at the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G2) on November 2, was clocked in 1:01.60. The Istan colt most recently was in New York, where he was third in the Belmont (G1), sixth in the Jim Dandy (G1) and fourth in both the Travers (G1) and TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (G1).

Golden Ticket, dead-heat winner of the Travers, was clocked in 1:02.40. The Speightstown colt, who has worked on three consecutive Saturdays at Keeneland, is a candidate for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) on November 3.

McPeek said the horses could work again at Keeneland before they leave for California on October 28.

Tri-Star Racing’s Brown Almighty, runner-up in the Bourbon (G3) on October 7, worked a half-mile in :49.40 under jockey Kent Desormeaux for trainer Tim Ice. The Big Brown colt is pointed at the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on November 3.




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