In preparation for a possible start in the upcoming Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT), two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan breezed through the fog on the main track at Saratoga Race Course the morning of Aug. 24.
The gelding earned an official time of :47.92 for a half-mile under regular exercise rider Damien Rock. It was the seventh swiftest of 99 at the distance.
"They said :47 and three, that's what the official clockers said," said trainer Charlie LoPresti. "He went out in a minute and change and they said they followed him out in :13 (1:13) for the three-quarters and then he went 1:26 (for seven furlongs).
"It was foggy, so I couldn't see it," LoPresti added. "But I knew he worked good because I had him in my binoculars and I was trying to find him and everywhere that I thought he would be, he was ahead of my binoculars. He's been working really well. If (Rock) had ever asked him to run, there's no telling how fast he would've gone."
Continuing the "will he or won't he" debate, Lopresti said he will enter Morton Fink's homebred champion in the Aug. 30 Baruch, but still has not ruled out a shot at a three-peat in the Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) Sept. 14.
"I would love to run in the Woodbine (Mile). It's a million dollar 'Win and You're In' race, but he's already here and it makes no sense to go back to Kentucky and then go to Canada," LoPresti said. "Who knows? If it's an easy race (in the Baruch), maybe he'll go from here and run in Canada."
Wise Dan, after recovering from colic surgery, has not raced since winning the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) May 3 at Churchill Downs. The 7-year-old son of Wiseman's Ferry, a six-time Eclipse Award-winner, has had five works at Saratoga (four on the main track) since arriving late last month.