The inaugural Rood & Riddle Comeback Award was presented to champion Wise Dan July 30 during Hats Off Day at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
The award honors an equine athlete who overcame a major health issue and returned to elite competition; two-time Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Wise Dan recovered from colic surgery in 2014 and went on to win the Bernard Baruch (gr. IIT) and Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) before his retirement in 2015. Hats Off Day celebrates the horse industry in Kentucky.
"Wise Dan exemplifies the characteristics of an outstanding athlete who suffered a major health issue and returned to compete successfully," Dr. Tom Riddle said.
Owned by breeder Morton Fink and trained by Charlie LoPresti, the two-time Horse of the Year was cared for throughout his remarkable career by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital veterinarians. His primary caretakers were Dr. Larry Bramlage, who attended to Wise Dan's orthopedic needs, and Dr. Scott Hopper, who performed his 2014 colic surgery.
Wise Dan, a son of Wiseman's Ferry out of the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle, won six Eclipse Awards and collected 11 grade I trophies in his 31-start career. He retired with 23 wins, two seconds, and earnings of $7,552,920.
"Wise Dan is a remarkable athlete and we are excited for him to receive this award. For him to recover from major surgery and come back to the level of competition he did--and in such a short time--is truly remarkable," LoPresti said. "Rood & Riddle played a large part in Wise Dan's success, specifically Dr. Bramlage and Dr. Hopper. We are thankful to the entire Rood & Riddle team."
Wise Dan is a resident of Charlie and Amy LoPresti's Forest Lane Farm outside Lexington, where he lives with his fellow retiree and half brother, grade II winner Successful Dan.