Trainer Charlie LoPresti said reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan came out of his runner-up effort in Saturday's Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in good order and is pointing toward a defense of his title in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
“Those were not ideal conditions yesterday,” LoPresti said of the race that came off the turf and was run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track after Keeneland was hit by 1½ inches of rain in less than two hours. “I was a little disappointed that he lost, but he never stopped trying and was gaining on the winner (Silver Max).”
Wise Dan, breaking from the outside post in the 10-horse field, was bumped going into the first turn, floated wide and raced far off the rail the entire race in finishing 1¼ lengths behind Silver Max.
“I looked at the Trakus (stats) after the race and it showed he ran 40 feet farther than the winner,” LoPresti said. “That computes to losing about four lengths.”
Owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan will do the bulk of his training for the Breeders' Cup here.
“We will make sure he is OK for the Breeders' Cup and go out on the 29th (of October),” LoPresti said of a schedule that is similar to last year when Wise Dan shipped to California the middle of Breeders' Cup week.
Trainer and part-owner Buff Bradley said champion Groupie Doll returned to Churchill Downs after finishing third in Saturday's Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and remains on track to defend her title in the seven-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
“She's tired, but she had to run the whole way yesterday,” Bradley said of Groupie Doll, who finished 1¾ lengths behind Judy the Beauty. “That was not her typical race yesterday. Usually she is just getting started the first quarter of a mile, but yesterday she was in against a couple of Polytrack professionals (in Judy the Beauty and Gypsy Robin).
“I was more concerned about yesterday's race than the Breeders' Cup,” he added. “Six furlongs is not her best distance and I think she is better on dirt. She shows brilliance on the dirt and on the Polytrack, she has run some good races and won a Grade 1 and a Grade 2 there.”
Bradley has scheduled one work for Groupie Doll on Saturday, Oct. 19 and plans to ship her to Santa Anita on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
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