Wise Dan, who earned U.S. Horse of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013, has been retired from racing.
The Morton Fink homebred, trained by Charles LoPresti, had been slated to make his return from an ankle injury in the Grade 1 $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile set for Sunday, September 13, at Woodbine.
“He'd been training lights out. But, we noticed some filling in his tendon this morning when we were giving him a bath,” said LoPresti. “The vet suggested we scan it and it turns out he has a tear on the outside edge of his tendon.”
Both of Wise Dan's Horse of the Year awards capped off seasons in which the champion chestnut captured the Ricoh Woodbine Mile en route to winning the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile.
“Mr. Fink and I talked about it and we've all decided he should be retired at this age. There's no point trying to bring him back again,” said LoPresti. “I expect he'll retire to our farm here in Kentucky. He'll be turned out with his brother Successful Dan.”
The tendon tear was not related to the ankle injury discovered following his victory in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last October.
“He has a perfect ankle now. We've radiographed it many times to be sure and there's not even a hint of an issue with the ankle,” said LoPresti. “We're not sure how it happened. We were four days away from shipping up to Woodbine and he had trained like a monster this morning. He never took a bad step, it was just something I noticed while giving him a bath.
“We were trying to get to the Breeders' Cup and we thought Woodbine was the perfect place to get started. We were so excited about coming but it wasn't meant to be.”
Wise Dan retires with a perfect record from two trips over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course and holds the course record of 1:31.75 for his scintillating performance in the 2013 Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
“While we're disappointed to hear the news regarding Wise Dan's retirement, I know the connections have made the right decision by the horse,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group. “We wish Wise Dan all the best in his retirement and we're thankful for the thrills he provided Canadian racing fans with his wins in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile.”
The eight-year-old Wiseman's Ferry chestnut won 23 of 31 career starts, while banking in excess of $7.5-million in purse earnings.
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