After Wise Dan and Successful Dan turned in separate breezes July 20 at Saratoga Race Course, trainer Charles LoPresti confirmed Wise Dan remains on course for a title defense in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT), while Successful Dan is under consideration for the $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I).
Exercise rider Damien Rock was aboard for both workouts recorded by the Morton Fink homebreds, with Wise Dan breezing four furlongs in :51.24 over a main track labeled "good" and Successful Dan earning a bullet for his five-furlong breeze in 1:00.61 after the track had been upgraded to "fast."
Successful Dan, a four-time graded stakes winner, was fourth in the June 15 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs
in his most recent start.
"I was really on the fence what to do with Successful Dan after he got up here," LoPresti said of the 7-year-old son of Successful Appeal
. "His race in the Foster was kind of a question. He had never been beat at Churchill. A lot of those horses didn't show up that night. (Winner) Fort Larned ran a great race, but the rest of the horses—Ron the Greek and Take Charge Indy—didn't run their races. Royal Delta didn't run her race over that track (when second that night in the grade II Fleur de Lis Handicap).
(Jockey Julien Leparoux) told me Successful Dan was having trouble getting hold of the ground, so I drew a line through [the race]."
Successful Dan's latest breeze impressed LoPresti sufficiently for the trainer to consider the Aug. 3 Whitney. The trainer had hoped to run Successful Dan in the Whitney last year before the gelding was forced to miss the race with a strained ligament.
"That was our plan last year, but it went south on us because of injuries," said LoPresti. "This horse has been plagued by injuries that keep him from being the same caliber as Wise Dan."
LoPresti spoke in glowing terms when describing Wise Dan's breeze in preparation for the Fourstardave, which is Aug. 10.
"We didn't go fast by design," said LoPresti. "Damien said he just held onto him the whole way. He was really strong galloping out and going down the backside. (Wise Dan) wanted to do more, obviously. He's dead fit off those races. We'll probably take him over to the grass, maybe next week, and work him one time for the Fourstardave."
Wise Dan, a 6-year-old by Wiseman's Ferry, has won seven straight races, a streak that began with last year's Fourstardave and includes a record-setting run in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). The streak briefly appeared in jeopardy last time out in the June 29 Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill when Wise Dan was shut off, but he squeezed through determinedly along the inside en route to a two-length win.
"I don't have to prove anything or chase anybody," said LoPresti. "Now I got him where I want him. If he can repeat what he did last year, I don't have to win a grade I on the dirt with him."
Also on the main track worktab was Enchanting Lisa
, a 3-year-old half-sister to Wise Dan and Successful Dan who went four furlongs in :51.51. A daughter of War Chant
, Enchanting Lisa has had one start, a seven-length victory on June 12 at Presque Isle Downs
All three were bred in Kentucky by Fink out of the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle.