With two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan sidelined after dominating back-to-back editions of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), a slew of contenders pre-entered the turf event to be run Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
Head began his assault on the storied grass race in 1987-88, riding Miesque, then saddled Goldikova to three consecutive victories in 2008-10 after beginning a training career. Now, Goldikova's full brother could step up.
Three horses under consideration for the Breeders' Cup World Championships worked on the fast main track at Keeneland Oct. 18, led by Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) winner Don't Tell Sophia.
Some have retired, a hearty few race on, but the winners of last year's Breeders' Cup World Championships will always have their place in history. Here we check in with the 14 runners who put on a great show in 2013.
Al Shaqab Racing's British-based Toronado is being aimed for the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 1 after missing last year's World Championships to continue his recovery from throat surgery.
Wise Dan has developed a non-displaced fracture at the bottom of his right front cannon bone that will put him on the sidelines for at least 30 days, ending his hopes for a third consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) win.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti said he has yet to exactly pinpoint a date for the final pre-race breeze of two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan leading up to the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), but the gelding is training lights out.
Trainer Marcus Vitali got what he was looking for in the $75,000 Eight Miles West Stakes Oct. 11 at Gulfstream Park West -- a sign that Valid deserved a trip to Santa Anita Park for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I).
- By Frank Angst
While owner-breeder Mort Fink likely will keep Wise Dan pointed toward a try at a third straight Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) victory this season, trainer Charlie LoPresti can't help but wonder if perhaps... read blog
No matter what obstacles are thrown at him this season, Wise Dan refuses to lose. The 7-year-old gelding was slow at the break of the Shadwell Turf Mile, but recovered to blast past his rivals in the final strides.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan faces the stiffest challenge of his remarkable return from colic surgery when he takes on Seek Again and Silver Max among seven rivals in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) Oct. 4.
Third in last year's Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) behind Wise Dan, British invader Trade Storm came from off the pace to claim the top prize over Kaigun on the turf at the Toronto-area track Sept. 14.
Kaigun, winner of the Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) for trainer Mark Casse, heads a field of 11 as the 5-2 favorite for the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) Sept. 14 at Woodbine.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, making his first start since returning after May 16 colic surgery, held off 29-1 shot Optimizer to win the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Goldencents, last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) winner, is to make his next start Oct. 4 in Keeneland's Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), where he would likely face two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
Ten-time grade I winner Wise Dan is set to race for the first time in nearly four months Aug. 30, but the last thing on trainer Charlie LoPresti's mind, he says, is a third straight Horse of the Year title.
On Aug. 30, Wise Dan will face a solid field in the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) as the 127-pound highweight while making his long-awaited return after May 16 colic surgery.
Goldencents avenged his loss in last year's $250,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II) with a dominating wire-to-wire track record performance in this year's edition at Del Mar Aug. 24.
If all goes well, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will begin his road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships in the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 30.
Kingman took to the less than ideal turf conditions at Deauville Aug. 17 and further bolstered his rank as Europe's top miler with a comfortable win in the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I).
Trainer Charlie LoPresti was still mulling over comeback options for Wise Dan but seemed more inclined toward deciding Aug. 16 after sending the Horse of the Year through his third dirt work at Saratoga Race Course.
Despite skipping a start in the Aug. 9 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT), two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan moved forward in his recovery from colic surgery when he worked over the main track at Saratoga that day.
With Wise Dan still progressing in his comeback from May 16 colic surgery, favoritism and a highweight assignment in Saratoga's $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) go to Dale Romans trainee Silver Max.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti said July 31 that two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will not make his comeback in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga, an event the 7-year-old gelding has won the past two years.
Breezing for the third time since returning to training after colic surgery, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan went an easy five furlongs in 1:03.72 over the Oklahoma turf course at Saratoga Race Course July 25.
Morton Fink's two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan turned in his first breeze of the summer at Saratoga July 18, progressing toward trainer Charlie LoPresti's goal of making the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT).
Construction may be going full-steam-ahead on the main track at Keeneland, but that hasn't stopped two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan from progressing in his recovery from colic surgery.
Fresh off a front-running romp in the American Stakes one month ago, Obviously faces fellow grade I winner Winning Prize and several other talented older runners in the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) June 14 at Santa Anita.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan was taken to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington May 16 for emergency colic surgery, according to trainer Charlie LoPresti.
In an amazing training feat, Chris Waller sent out the first four finishers in the AUS$3 million The Star Doncaster Mile (Aus-I), spearheaded by repeat winner Sacred Falls April 12 at Royal Randwick.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak talks with trainer Charlie LoPresti about Reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan.Wise Dan will seek to defend his title in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov 2. Watch Video
- By Claire Novak
He never backed down from a fight, and wherever they entered him, he ran. Wise Dan galloped his way through the most consistent season delivered by a racehorse in 2013 to edge Point of Entry and Magician for Turf Male honors.
Three runners who delivered remarkably different campaigns in 2013 face off for Horse of the Year honors at the Jan. 18 Eclipse Awards, highlighting the open-for-interpretation nature of the category.
Grade I winner Centralinteligence underwent successful surgery after sustaining a condylar fracture during the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Nov. 1 and has an excellent chance to return to racing, said trainer Ron Ellis.
- By Steve Haskin
There isn't a horse in the world he can't catch and there isn't a horse in the world that can catch him. You can't get things any simpler and easier than that. read blog
A winner of six of seven starts this year with his Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) victory Nov. 2, Wise Dan deserves repeat Horse of the Year honors, his trainer Charlie LoPresti said the morning after the race.
Comments from the connections of Wise Dan after his repeat performance in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Watch Video
Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan galloped for the first time at Santa Anita Park the morning of Oct. 31 in preparation for his defense of the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
The Oct. 5 City of Hope Stakes was meant as a trial run for No Jet Lag to see if he belonged in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). He aced that test when he finished in 1:31.84, just off the record set last year by Wise Dan.
Champion Wise Dan, after arrival at Santa Anita on October 29. Watch Video
Horse of the Year Wise Dan will launch a title defense in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) from post 8 in a field of 10 off his only loss of 2013. Among his challengers is the horse who beat him, Silver Max.
Janis Whitham's Fort Larned completed serious preparation for this week's bid for consecutive victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park with a five-furlong workout Oct. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Ten Breeders' Cup runners slated for the turf events, led by Obviously (IRE), worked on the grass at Santa Anita Park Oct. 26.
Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan put in a strong gallop early the morning of Oct. 26 on the main track as the Keeneland phase of his preparations for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) nears completion.
Defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan, champion female sprinter Groupie Doll, and 3-year-old Will Take Charge were on the Oct. 18 worktab in Kentucky, gearing up for runs in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Trainer Michael Dickinson pulls off a stunner in 1998, winning the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) with Da Hoss, who was making just his second start in two years.
The Breeders' Cup will reinstate entry fee benefits to the winners of Challenge races that lost their designation when the events came off the turf at Keeneland, but they will not receive an automatic starting position.
Both Wise Dan and Groupie Doll, who led the list of notable upsets nationwide in major stakes tests Oct. 5, remain on target for their respective dates in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, according to their trainers.
Moonlight Cloud unleashed an astounding burst of speed from last and wore down pacesetter Gordon Lord Byron to capture the Qatar Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) by three lengths Oct. 6 at Longchamp.
Wise Dan became the first two-time winner of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile when he romped to victory Sept. 15 in track-record time over the Toronto track's turf course as the shortest-priced favorite in the race's 17 renewals.
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