Horse of the Year Wise Dan Returns in Bernard Baruch
Category : News
Fri 29/08/2014 - 16:44 EDT
The $250,000 Grade II Bernard Baruch August 30 at Saratoga signifies the return of two-time reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan who is back from a bout with colic that was potentially fatal and required surgery – but nothing stops a champ.
Eight runners line-up to face Wise Dan (3/5 ML) in the mile and a sixteenth race on the turf. Wise Dan has not raced since winning the Grade I Churchill Downs Turf Classic on May 3, and could be vulnerable of the layoff and physical issues. In that race, he was uncharacteristically rank early before surviving a late charge from the unheralded three year-old Seek Again. Still, Wise Dan’s nose for the wire is undeniable. In 14 lifetime turf starts, the multiple Breeder’s Cup winner has 13 victories worth over 5.7 million dollars.
LoPresti lets Dan call the shots
Trainer Charles LoPresti has taken a very cautious approach with Wise Dan’s return, allowing the horse to dictate the tempo of his workouts. Originally targeted for the Fourstardave Stakes in early August, Wise Dan did not show his usual zest for training, leading LoPresti to give the seven year-old gelding more time to recover. Wise Dan’s four furlong move at Saratoga August 24 was clocked in 47 and two fifth seconds – good for the 7th fastest of 102 horse working the same distance.
Lea formidable if race comes off the turf
Lea (4/5 ML) is entered for the main track only, leaving Bio Pro (5/1) the likely second choice for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Bio Pro has never won a graded stakes race and is four of fifteen lifetime on the grass.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.