Wise Dan 'Ahead of Schedule' for 2013 Debut
Wise Dan, Morton Fink's 2012 Horse of the Year, turned in his second work of the season at Keeneland March 2, a four-furlong move in :49 1/5. It was the sixth-fastest of 31 works on the day over the Lexington oval's all-weather surface.
The 6-year-old gelding by Wiseman's Ferry has been back in training with trainer Charlie Lopresti since Jan. 7, following a brief period of let-down at Lopresti's Forest Lane Farm near Lexington after winning the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) in record-setting fashion. He returned to the worktab Feb. 23, going four furlongs in :50 flat.
The chestnut runner is pointing for his first start of the season in the April 13 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes (gr. IT) or the April 21 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III). He won the latter race on Polytrack by 10 1/2 lengths in a record-setting 1:46.63 in 2012. It kicked off a season that resulted in honors as champion older male and champion turf horse in addition to Horse of the Year.
Regular exercise rider Damien Rock was in the saddle for Wise Dan's March 2 breeze.
"We didn't push him; he went three-eighths last week and out a half and this week we just went from the half-mile pole," Lopresti said. "He just did it the right way, pretty impressive, looks like he's just galloping. He's pretty far ahead of schedule, and he keeps himself fit."
Lopresti said he is leaning toward the Maker's 46 Mile for Wise Dan's 2013 debut, but will not make a determination until closer to the race dates.
"The pros for the Ben Ali are, it was a pretty impressive race for him last year and he won that pretty easy; he wouldn't have to run as fast or as hard as he would in the Maker's Mile," the trainer said. "I'm leaning more toward the Maker's Mile at this point, but I'm not sure what I'm doing with Turallure yet either."
Turallure, Four D Stable's 6-year-old son of Wando, was second by a neck to Data Link in the 2012 edition of the Maker's 46 Mile. The 2011 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) winner is returning off a layup, with his last start a fourth in the July 7 Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Also on the March 2 worktab at Keeneland was Wise Dan's older half brother, Successful Dan, a 7-year-old son of Successful Appeal , who won the 2010 Greenbriar Fayette Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland and took the 2012 Alysheba Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Successful Dan is coming back off the layup as well, having last run second to eventual Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned in the June 30 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III).
Successful Dan, who has three works under his girth, went an easy four furlongs in :52 flat.
"He went easy," Lopresti said. "They're going to do some track renovation next week, and after that I'll get more serious with him."
Successful Dan also races for Fink and could run in the Ben Ali or in an allowance race during the spring meet.
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