Wise Dan broke the track record in his win on Sept. 15, taking his win streak to nine (Photos courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire).
Wise Dan may have put in the easiest race of his career on Sunday when he won the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile for a second year in a row.
The gelding kept his winning streak alive in the race, taking it to nine straight victories. The streak started in last year’s Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.
Wise Dan let Excaper and Dimension think that they may have a chance for the win when he sat behind them as they dueled for the lead. But at the top of the stretch, the 2012 Horse of the Year got bored with the games and took the lead to win by 3 1/2 lengths.
Perhaps even more impressive was the gelding winning the one-mile race in a time of 1:31.75, a new course record for the Woodbine turf, without even looking like he was trying. It was the gelding’s third track or course record and certainly his easiest. Za Approval was the closest horse to Wise Dan when he crossed the line while European invader Trade Storm finished third. Not surprisingly, Wise Dan went off as the favorite at odds of 1-to-5.
“I compare it to the horse I sat on, Leroidesanimaux, when he won over here, but I always said he was a freak," said jockey John Velazquez. "This one (Wise Dan) is a much bigger freak than the other one. He’s a much better horse, always wins. Horse of the Year, you can’t change that.”
The Woodbine Mile victory was also a milestone for trainer Charlie LoPresti, who won his third straight edition of this race, winning it with Turallure in 2011 and Wise Dan the last two years. The win was the second in a row for owner-breeder Morton Fink, who also owns Wise Dan’s older half-brother Successful Dan.
The Woodbine Mile is Wise Dan’s sixth career Grade 1 victory and if he follows the same schedule as last year, he will make a start in the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland next month before flying to California for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. With his win today, Wise Dan has secured himself a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile gate as the Woodbine Mile was a “Win and You’re In” event for the race.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
WISE DAN AND SOME OF HIS CONNECTIONS AFTER THE RACE