Wise Dan

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Wise Dan
Sire Wiseman's Ferry
Grandsire Hennessy
Dam Lisa Danielle
Damsire Wolf Power
Sex Gelding
Foaled February 20, 2007
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Morton Fink
Owner Morton Fink
Trainer Charles LoPresti
Record 28:20-2-0 as of 4-11-2014
Earnings $6,473,610
Major wins
Phoenix Stakes (2010)
Firecracker Handicap (2011, 2013)
Fayette Stakes (2011)
Clark Handicap (2011)
Ben Ali Stakes (2012)
Fourstardave Handicap (2012, 2013)
Woodbine Mile (2012, 2013)
Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (2012)
Breeders' Cup Mile (2012, 2013)
Maker's Mark Mile Stakes (2013, 2014)
Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (2013, 2014)
Awards
American Horse of the Year (2012, 2013)
American Champion Older Male Horse (2012, 2013)
American Champion Male Turf Horse (2012, 2013)

Wise Dan (foaled February 20, 2007) is a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse. He is the first horse to win the same three Eclipse Awards in consecutive years, having been named American Horse of the Year, Champion Older Male and Champion Male Turf Horse in 2012 and 2013.[1]

In a racing career which began in 2010, he has won fifteen Graded stakes races, including victories on turf, dirt and two types of synthetic surface. Unraced as a two-year-old, Wise Dan won the Phoenix Stakes in 2010, but was well beaten when taking on top-class opposition in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. In the latter half of 2011, the gelding showed steady improvement, winning twice at Grade II level before winning the Grade I Clark Handicap in November. In 2012, Wise Dan won five more races, including Woodbine Mile, Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup Mile: by autumn he was the most highly rated active racehorse in North America. In 2013, Wise Dan won six of his seven races, repeating his wins in the Woodbine Mile and the Breeders' Cup Mile as well as taking the Maker's Mark Mile Stakes and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

Background[edit]

Wise Dan is a chestnut gelding with a narrow white blaze, bred in Kentucky by his owner Morton Fink, a Chicago-born businessman. He is the most successful racehorse to date sired by Wiseman's Ferry, whose biggest win came in the 2002 West Virginia Derby.[2] Wise Dan's dam, Lisa Danielle, a daughter of the South African champion Wolf Power, was named after Fink's granddaughter. Apart from Wise Dan, she has produced the Alysheba Stakes winner Successful Dan.[3] Wise Dan has been trained throughout his racing career by Charles Lopresti.

Racing career[edit]

2010: three-year-old season[edit]

Wise Dan began his racing career on the polytrack surface at Turfway Park in early 2010. After finishing fifth in his debut, he won a six-furlong maiden race by fifteen lengths. In May, he moved to Churchill Downs, where he won an allowance race on the undercard of Super Saver's win in the Kentucky Derby. After a break of five months, Wise Dan returned at Keeneland Race Course in October to win the Grade III Phoenix Stakes, beating the four-year-old Hollywood Hit by half a length.[4] In his final appearance, as a three-year-old, he stepped up markedly in class to contest the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on 6 November. Starting at odds of 8/1, he reached third place in the straight before finishing sixth of the twelve runners behind Big Drama.

2011: four-year-old season[edit]

Wise Dan's four-year-old campaign began with three losing efforts. He finished fourth when favorite for the Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland, and when moved up in distance to nine furlongs he finished eighth of the nine runners behind First Dude in the Alysheba Stakes. An unplaced effort on dirt at Churchill Downs in June saw Lopresti try the gelding on the same venue's turf course. After working well on the surface, Wise Dan was entered in the Grade II Firecracker Handicap over one mile on July 4 and won by two and three quarter lengths.[5]

After a break of two months, Wise Dan reappeared at Presque Isle Downs in September. Racing on Tapeta Footings, he carried top weight of 124 pounds to victory in the Presque Isle Mile Stakes. In October, Wise Dan returned to Grade I class for the first time since the Breeders' Cup when he ran in the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland and finished fourth to Gio Ponti. Three weeks later, he captured his third graded stakes race when he won the Fayette Stakes on Keeneland's polytrack, beating Ioya Bigtime by four lengths. In his final start of 2011, he returned to Grade I company for the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. Racing over nine furlongs on dirt, he took the lead in the straight and drew away to win by nearly four lengths from a field which included the Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out and the Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice.[6] The Clark was the first occasion on which Wise Dan was ridden by Puerto Rican jockey John R. Velazquez, who partnered the gelding in his next four races.

In the 2011 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings, Wise Dan was given a rating of 121, placing him in equal 38th place. Only five horses trained in the United States were rated more highly.[7]

2012: five-year-old season[edit]

In his first race of 2012, Wise Dan returned to the polytrack at Keeneland for the Grade III Ben Ali Stakes on April 22. Carrying top weight of 123 pounds, he won by ten and a half lengths from Big Blue Kitten in a new track record time of 1:46.63. After the race, his rider John Velasquez claimed that his only difficulty came when trying to pull up Wise Dan after the finish.[8] In June, Wise Dan started odds-on favorite for the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap, run over the same course and distance as the Clark. In a rough finish, he overtook leader Nate's Mineshaft in the closing stages but was caught on the post and beaten a head by Ron the Greek.[9] According to Charles Lopresti, Velasquez said he had been focusing his attention on Nate's Mineshaft and "never saw that horse (Ron the Greek) coming".[10] The unplaced horses in the Stephen Foster included Fort Larned, who subsequently won the important Whitney Handicap at Saratoga and the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November.

A week after the Whitney, Wise Dan ran on turf in the Fourstardave Handicap at the same venue. He started the 6/4 favorite and won by five lengths from Corporate Jungle. In September, Wise Dan took on international competition for the first time when he was sent north to contest the Woodbine Mile in Toronto, which attracted the European-trained horses Cityscape and Worthadd.[11] Velasquez tracked the leaders before moving to the front in the straight, and Wise Dan drew away to win easily[12] by three and a quarter lengths. By mid-September, he was the highest rated active racehorse in the United States, according to the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings (I'll Have Another and Bodemeister had been retired).[13]

In October, Wise Dan completed a hat trick on turf by winning the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland. On this occasion, he was ridden by Jose Lezcano and won by two and a quarter lengths from Willcox Inn.[14] After the race, Lopresti announced that the gelding would go to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita but declined to specify a race, saying that while he would "lean toward" the Mile, a run in the Classic had not been ruled out.[15]

On 3 November, Wise Dan contested the Breeders' Cup Mile against a field which included European milers Excelebration and Moonlight Cloud as well as the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom. In what the Washington Post described as "an unequivocal championship performance"[16] Wise Dan overtook the front-running gelding Obviously at the top of the stretch and won from Animal Kingdom with Excelebration in fourth. The time of 1:31.78 was a new track record and came within .37 seconds of the world record. To highlight this achievement, the champion miler Dr. Fager set the world record of 1 mile on any surface of 1:32.25 on August 24, 1968.

In the 2012 World Thoroughbred Rankings, Wise Dan was assigned a rating of 129, making him the best horse trained in the United States and the fifth best racehorse in the world. At the Eclipse Awards for the 2012 season, he was voted Champion Male Turf Horse, Champion Older Male Horse and American Horse of the Year. He was the first horse to win all three awards since John Henry in 1981.[17]

2013: six-year-old season[edit]

Wise Dan began his 2013 campaign in the Maker's 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland on April 12 when he started the 2/5 favorite and won by a length from Data Link, the winner of the race in 2012.[18] On May 4, at the Kentucky Derby meeting, Wise Dan started 3/5 favourite for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, after his main rival, Point of Entry, was scratched shortly before the race. Ridden by Jose Lezcano (Velasquez had been committed to riding Point of Entry), the gelding coped well with the slick conditions, taking the lead in the straight and drawing away to win by four and three quarter lengths from Optimizer.[19]

On June 30, Wise Dan attempted to win the Firecracker Handicap for the second time, carrying 128 pounds in a race run in heavy rain. Velasquez kept the horse "bottled up" until the straight when he accelerated through a gap on the inside rail (brushing against the hedge which serve as the running rail) and going clear to win by two lengths from Lea at odds of 1/5.[20] Wise Dan took his winning run to eight on August 10 when he won the Fourstardave Handicap for the second time, despite carrying 129 pounds, 11 pounds more than any of his opponents. Commenting on the performance, Lopresti said that "to prove that he's a great horse like everybody's talking about, he had to carry that weight... he proved he's a great horse today."[21]

On September 15, 2013, Wise Dan won his ninth consecutive race by taking the Grade I Woodbine Mile for the second time in succession, breaking the track record when he came home in 1:31.75.[22] On October 5, he started 1/2 favorite to win his second Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, a race which was switched to the synthetic track at Keeneland after heavy rain made the turf course unraceable. In a huge upset, Wise Dan failed to catch the front-running four-year old Silver Max, being beaten one and a quarter lengths. Wise Dan concluded his campaign by attempting to repeat his 2012 victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He started 4/5 favourite ahead of British challenger Olympic Glory, the improving three-year-old gelding No Jet Lag and Silver Max. With Velasquez having been injured in a fall earlier on the card, Lezcano took over the ride on the favourite. Wise Dan stumbled exiting the stalls and was well behind in the early stages as Obviously set a very strong pace. The favourite produced his customary strong late run in the straight to take the lead well inside the final furlong and won by three quarters of a length from Za Approval.[23]

In the 2013 World's Best Racehorse Rankings, Wise Dan was given a rating of 129, making him the third-best racehorse in the world, the best miler and the best racehorse in North America.[24] He repeated his successes of the previous year in the Eclipse Awards for 2013, being voted Champion Male Turf Horse, Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year.[25]

2014: seven-year-old season[edit]

Wise Dan began his 2014 campaign by winning the Grade I Maker's 46 Mile Stakes at 2-5 odds over Kaigun on the turf at Keeneland on April 11, running from the #3 post position in a six-horse field with John R. Velazquez aboard. The winning time was 1:34.91[26] On May 3, the same day as the 2014 Kentucky Derby, he won the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, running a mile and an eighth instead of his usual mile, and beating Seek Again by a head.[27]

On May 16, Wise Dan became distressed after his morning workout and was sent to the Rood & Riddle equine hospital. An ultrasound scan revealed an intestinal abnormality and the gelding underwent emergency surgery for horse colic.[28] After repair of a piece of intestine that had "looped" over itself, a "best case scenario" for colic surgery, the horse was anticipated to be out for six to eight weeks of recovery time, but the issue would not be career-ending.[29]

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Wise Dan (USA), chestnut gelding, 2007[30]
Sire
Wiseman's Ferry (USA)
1999
Hennessy (USA)
1993
Storm Cat Storm Bird
Terlingua
Island Kitty Hawaii
T. C. Kitten
Emmaus (USA)
1994
Silver Deputy Deputy Minister
Silver Valley
La Affirmed Affirmed
La Mesa
Dam
Lisa Danielle (USA)
1994
Wolf Power (SAF)
1978
Flirting Around Round Table
Happy Flirt
Pandora Casabianca
Blue Siren
Askmysecretary (USA)
1982
Secretariat Bold Ruler
Somethingroyal
Laquiola Lyphard
Kalila (Family 5-h)[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Novak, Claire (January 18, 2014). "Horse of the Year Wise Dan Repeats Sweep". bloodhorse.com. The BloodHorse. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Wiseman's Ferry, stallion directory, horse breeding". Thoroughbredtimes.com. 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  3. ^ "Morton Fink". Archive.breederscup.com. 1929-12-03. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Wise Dan emerges from Phoenix into BC Sprint scene Daily Racing Form". Drf.com. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Wise Dan scores Firecracker in turf debut - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  6. ^ "Clark Handicap". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  7. ^ "The 2011 World Thoroughbred Rankings". Horseracingintfed.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  8. ^ Wincze, Alicia (2012-04-22). "There's no holding back Wise Dan at Keeneland". Kentucky.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  9. ^ "Stephen Foster Handicap". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  10. ^ Shinar, Jack. "Ron the Greek Rides Rail to Foster Surprise". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  11. ^ "Woodbine Mile: Wise Dan looks to earn trainer Charles Lopresti a second straight win". Toronto Star. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  12. ^ "Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  13. ^ "September 2012 World Thoroughbred Rankings". Horseracingintfed.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  14. ^ "Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  15. ^ Biles, Deirdre B. "Wise Dan Rallies to Win Shadwell Turf Mile". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  16. ^ Andrew Beyer (2011-02-24). "2012 Breeders’ Cup: Game on Dude flops while Wise Dan proves worthy of horse of the year". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  17. ^ "Wise Dan rules at Eclipse awards". Sporting Life. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  18. ^ "Wise Dan triumphant in Maker's 46 return". - ESPN. April 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  19. ^ Shinar, Jack (May 4, 2013). "Wise Dan Pours It On in Woodford Reserve Win". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  20. ^ Shinar, Jack (June 30, 2013). "Wise Dan Squeezes Out Soggy Firecracker Win". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  21. ^ Shinar, Jack (August 10, 2013). "Wise Dan Handles Test in Fourstardave Repeat". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  22. ^ Shinar, Jack. "Wise Dan makes Woodbine history". Bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  23. ^ Tom LaMarra (2 November 2013). "Wise Dan Rolls Again in Breeders' Cup Mile". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  24. ^ "LONGINES WORLD'S BEST RACEHORSE RANKINGS 2013". IFHA. January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  25. ^ "2013 Eclipse Award Winners". Daily Racing Form. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  26. ^ "Results | Keeneland Thoroughbred Racing and Sales". Keeneland.com. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  27. ^ "Woodford Reserve Turf Classic result 2014". equibase. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  28. ^ Nicholas Godfrey (16 May 2014). "Wise Dan colic not career ending says LoPresti". Racing Post. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  29. ^ Novak, Claire (2014-05-16). "Wise Dan Undergoes Colic Surgery". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  30. ^ "Wise Dan Pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  31. ^ "Ann of the Forest - Family 5-h". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-10-09.