Wise Dan Pointed to Firecracker Next
Defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan breezed a “bullet” five furlongs on the Polytrack at Keeneland on Saturday in :58.40 and he could make his next start in the $150,000-added Firecracker Handicap (Grade II) at Churchill Downs on June 29.
“He worked very well and galloped out really strong,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said. “We were very happy with it.”
Mort Fink’s homebred Wise Dan is a half-brother to Successful Dan, who finished fourth in Saturday night’s $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (GI).
“We are going to see what happens with Successful Dan,” LoPresti had said Saturday morning. “Right now we are looking at the Firecracker for Wise Dan, but if we are lucky enough to win the Stephen Foster with Successful Dan then I might point Wise Dan to the Whitney (GI at Saratoga on Aug. 3). Whether I would use the Firecracker as a prep for that race or not is something we’d have to consider.”
The Stephen Foster and the Whitney are both “Win and You’re In” races for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
“If Successful Dan wins then he’s in the Classic and I’d like to give Wise Dan a chance to run in a Grade I on dirt.”
Successful Dan, a 7-year-old gelding by Successful Appeal, and Wise Dan, a 6-year-old gelding by Wiseman’s Ferry, are unlikely to face off anytime soon.
“They’ll be kept apart leading up to the Breeders’ Cup,” LoPresti said. “The only chance they’d run against each other is if they both wound in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.”
Wise Dan and Successful Dan are two of eight winners produced by the Wolf Power-SAF mare Lisa Danielle. The most recent one is Enchanting Lisa, a 3-year-old bay filly by War Chant who won her career debut by seven lengths on June 12 at Presque Isle.
LoPresti said no plans have been made for Enchanting Lisa’s next race, but she likely will be a part of the string he will take to Saratoga.