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Breeders' Cup 2017

Wise Dan Sublime in Woodbine Mile Repeat

Wise Dan WM13 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire


Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, the prohibitive 1-5 favourite, zipped to victory in track record time of 1:31.75 in Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile.


Ridden by John Velazquez, who notched his record fourth Mile, after victories aboard Riviera in 2000, Leroidesanimaux in 2005, and last year with Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year tracked the tempo setters Excaper and Dimension through fractions of :23.15 and :45.44, before closing three-wide over a firm E.P. Taylor Turf Course, with three-sixteenths of a mile to run.


“I compare it to the horse I sat on, Leroidesanimaux, when he won over here, but I always said he was a freak," said Velazquez. "This one (Wise Dan) is a much bigger freak than the other one. He’s a much better horse, always wins. Horse of the Year, you can’t change that.”


Racing under a hand ride, Wise Dan widened at will down the home straight, hitting the wire an effortless 3 1/2-lengths in front of Za Approval, the 6-1 second choice. 


Trade Storm, the 8-1 third-choice, raced from last of six in the early going, was urged into contention through the turn by Gary Stevens and closed between rivals to be third, a further 1 1/4-lengths behind, with Riding the River charging up for fourth.  


The final time of 1:31.75 bettered Royal Regalia's mark of 1:31.84 set on July 1, 2004.


Velazquez was confident of another strong performance from Wise Dan.


“The only thing that kind of concerned me a little bit, I think I did a little too much with him in the post parade," said Velazquez. "He was kind of quiet and then he broke well and I put him right behind the other two horses (Excaper and Dimension) and he got rank with me behind the other two horses and I thought, ‘Come on buddy, please come off the bridle a little bit.’ Once he did that I waited until the five sixteenths pole and let him easy out from those two horses and as soon as he saw the wire he just went on.”


His scintillating victory marked a third-consecutive Mile score for trainer Charles LoPresti.  The Keeneland-based conditioner notched his first Mile victory in 2011 with long shot Turallure.  LoPresti remains undefeated at Woodbine through three starts.


Wise Dan was the first sitting Horse of the Year to compete at Woodbine since 1995 champion Cigar competed in the 1996 Breeders` Cup Classic. The Kentucky-bred five-year-old gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry won five of six starts in 2012, all graded events, taking the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile and Grade 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland; the Grade 2 Fourstardave at Saratoga; and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, in addition to his Grade 1 Woodbine Mile coup en route to champion honours.


A graded stakes winner on turf, Polytrack and dirt, the versatile Wise Dan became the shortest-priced winner ($2.50) of the Woodbine Mile since its inception in 1997, eclipsing his own payoff of $3.10 in 2012.


The Ricoh Woodbine Mile was a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ event, meaning Wise Dan earned a free ticket (travel expenses and entry fees) into the Breeders’ Cup Mile, November 2 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California.


“He’s a great horse. I mean he is a dream come true. He makes us very proud," said LoPresti. "What he does for the fans and what he does for us, all my team that’s worked with him, Mr. Fink is the breeder, the mare, all the awards we got for breeding and the mare. He is just a dream come true. What a wonderful horse."


It was the fifth win from five starts this year for Wise Dan, well on his way to defending his Horse of the Year title with wins in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark at Keeneland; the Grade 1 Turf Classic and Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Fourstardave at Saratoga. His Woodbine Mile victory was his ninth straight score, all in graded events.


Overall, Wise Dan has taken 17 of 24 career starts, and with today’s purse of $600,000 surpassed the $5-million mark in earnings.


“I don’t have the right words to tell you how much it means to me. He is a super horse but he’s there because Charlie takes care of him," said Fink. "When you handle a horse that can run like this the temptation is to run him every couple of weeks. He is a money machine. It will never happen as long as Charlie and I have anything to do with him.”


The all-sources handle on the Ricoh Woodbine Mile card was a record $6,698,099, shattering the former mark of $6,064,189 set in 2011.


Wise Dan returned $2.50, $2.10 and $2.10, pairing with Za Approval ($3.50, $2.20) for a $7 (4-6) exactor.  A 4-6-3 (Trade Storm, $2.60 to show) triactor was worth $16.30. 


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Older Comments about Wise Dan Sublime in Woodbine Mile Repeat...

I also evaluate situations myself and do not use ANYONE else as a yardstick
I never said that gelding was anything but good, YOU are interpreting what I say yet again
Travel Vic you truly aren't with it when it comes to understanding why a horse like Wise Dan is as good as he is. I suggest you read Haskins' latest thread on the Bloodhorse. Maybe give you an insight.
Sad to see that whole family have one type of drug dependence of one sort or another
TV. Interesting. I always heard he drank. Funny story about Milo On and Milo Off.
I agree 100% Buckpasser, MUCH the same automatic push button. That was before Milo go too deep in his cups. We used to have a Milo ON ror Milo OFF scenario at Holly and Anita based upon how red and bloodshot his eyes were. That angle was almost always correct and we saved a lot of money with it too.
Wise Dan, a second tier performer over there, would, I am sorry to say, be embarassed on their courses.
WD reminded a lot of Kelso in the Woodbine Mile. How many times did I see him just lying off the pace waiting for his move with a tap of the whip from Milo and away he went. When Kelso made that move, just as Wise Dan did, he made good even great horses look like they had a pressing engagement with the quarter pole.
it is hard to accept speed ratings garnered so easily. This was essentialy a 4 furlong workout after a slower 4 furlong work..There was NO pace battle. THese are the contests LEAST likely to give you the trus status of a horse's ability down the road. One needs to see an animal challenge, then OVERCOME, a pace to be a sign that it can move on.
  • Show All 4 Comments
  • Sully · Didn't even have to mention he was under wraps the last quarter, and was being rangled back by JV in the opening half. Don't know where some people come up with this BS sometimes. · 1491 days ago
  • nayrod64 · Some people like to think there more knowledgeable about certain subjects. It's all about the animals and wanting them all to succeed and be safe, period! · 1491 days ago
Easy. He can go to Europe and represent America!
IF you review all the great geldings from Exterminator to Phar lap to Kelso, Forego and J.H. they all got better wth age
His main challenger for HOY will be and is Game On Dude, Dan has a real job to do.
Another John Henry in the making. What an amazing animal he is. Dan the man!!!!!
Wow what a great horse! It will be interesting to see what European horses are sent over for the Mile, it could be a super race. The Breeders Cup is starting to look pretty good this year.
108 BSF for the Woodbine Mile.
Looks like a machine out there hand ride all the way alwsome performance
this horse is about as good as they get . two times he has ran a mile in 1:31 an change at two different tracks im 47 an have never seen that before just amazing hof again

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