Morton Fink’s homebred Successful Dan helped trainer Charles Lopresti end his outstanding fall meet in fine fashion, as the 4-year-old easily rolled past pacesetter Exhi just beyond the eighth-pole and romped home for a three–length victory in the $150,000 Greenbrier Fayette (gr. II) (VIDEO) Oct. 30 on closing day at Keeneland.
Successful Dan won an optional claimer by seven length at Keeneland on Oct. 9 going two turns, and Lopresti made the right move by wheeling him back three weeks later. The son of Successful Appeal is now a perfect 3-for-3 over the Keeneland Polytrack and has won five of seven overall.
Lopresti, who will have a pair of starters in next week’s Breeders’ Cup including Successful Dan’s half brother, Wise Dan, in the Sentient Jet BC Sprint (gr. I), saddled his sixth winner in 10 starts during the fall meet. Julien Leparoux, who was the meet’s leading rider, guided Successful Dan to victory.
The final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:47.09, less than two-fifths of a second off the track record.
Successful Dan raced fourth in a field of sixth through six furlongs while Exhi, the Coolmore Lexington winner in April, scooted through quick opening splits. With Javier Castellano aboard for Todd Pletcher, Exhi clicked off fractions of :23.47, :46.93, and 1:10.73. Dubious Miss pressed the pace, while Cherokee Artist raced in third.
Leparoux angled Successful Dan toward the outside coming off the second turn and the bay horse easily drew onto even terms with Exhi in upper stretch. He drew clear under a steady hand and cruised to the wire for his second stakes win. Exhi held second by a neck over Stately Victor.
"He was very relaxed," Leparoux said, "but they went pretty fast up front. When I asked him, he just took off. (At the end), he was putting up his ears. I had a ton of horse left, so that's a good thing."
Last summer, in his third start, Successful Dan won his stakes debut in the Northern Dancer (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Bred in Kentucky, Successful Dan is out of the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle. He has now earned $301,439 from seven starts.
"He does have something in reserve, so that's good for our next move," Lopresti said. "Julien has done a great job, and my whole crew has done a great job with this horse. It's just a dream come true to have a meet like this here at Keeneland."
Sent off as the 8-5 choice, the winner paid $5.40, $3, and $2.20. The exacta (3-7) returned $15.60 and the trifecta (3-7-1) was $30.20.
Dubious Miss finished fourth, followed by Mint Chip and Cherokee Artist. Adriano, Battle of Hastings, Boots Ahead, and Intercoastal were scratched.
The attendance on a beautiful closing day in Lexington was 12,627.