Archive Page 2

Lane’s End Farm acquires interest in classic winner Tonalist

Lane’s End announced Saturday evening it has purchased an interest in Belmont Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, Tonalist. The 3-year-old son of Tapit is currently being pointed toward a start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park November 1.


Trained by Christophe Clement, Tonalist has won three graded stakes this year and became just the second 3-year-old to accomplish that feat since Easy Goer in 1989.


“We are extremely excited to acquire an interest in this outstanding colt. His sire is quickly becoming the most important stallion in America” said Lane’s End owner Will Farish. “Tonalist is his only Grade I-winning son at a mile and a quarter and the only multiple Grade I-winning son.”


Bill Farish continued, “We’ve had great success with classic stallions and he certainly adds to that legacy. A.P. Indy, Lemon Drop Kid, Curlin and Union Rags won races like the Belmont and Gold Cup; we feel Tonalist will continue that success.”



Alcibiades winner Peace and War to miss Breeders’ Cup

Qatar Racing’s Peace and War, winner of the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland on October 3, will miss the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park on November 1 due to a slight tear of the tiny XYZ ligament at the base of her fetlock, trainer Olly Stevens posted on his Robins Farm Racing website.

“A late night phone call from (trainer) Kellyn (Gorder) broke the news that we had not even considered among the jubilation: a minor injury,” Stevens said in a release. “It (the tear) is tiny however we strongly feel that Peace and War has a very exciting year next year with a great program that could include (some of but not all of) The Ashland, The Kentucky Oaks, The Coaching Club Oaks, The Alabama, The Spinster and even another tilt at the Breeders’ Cup.”

Stevens, who formerly worked as an assistant to Gorder before returning to England and going out on his own as a trainer, added that Peace and War would stay at WinStar Farm before returning to  Chiddingfold in England.

Peace and War scored a half length win in the Alcibiades in what was her first start stateside. The 2-year-old daughter of War Front broke her maiden at Lingfield  in England in late May and has two wins from four career starts.

“While this setback is unfortunate Peace and War was our first Grade I winner, bought by sporting and understanding owners as a potential broodmare,” Stevens said. “Her future is bright and we look forward to more Stateside ventures in the spring…back to ‘our old Kentucky Home’.”

Multiple graded stakes winner Revolutionary retired to WinStar Farm

Edited release:

Multiple graded stakes winner  Revolutionary has been retired from racing and will stand the 2015 breeding season at WinStar Farm, it was announced on Tuesday.


Revolutionary’s stud fee has been set at $7,500 stands & nurses, and he will participate in WinStar’s Dream Big Program, which offers breeders the opportunity to earn a lifetime breeding right in Revolutionary after producing just two live foals from his first books.


“Revolutionary has the talent, class, looks, and pedigree to be any kind of sire, and he’ll get every advantage that other successful homebreds like Distorted Humor and Super Saver have gotten in their respective stallion careers,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar President and CEO. “It is very rare that you can take a great conformation photo of a stallion prospect while he’s still in training, but Revolutionary is the exception. His great looks and strong female family are big reasons why we already have several of our own mares committed to his first book. He’s a fantastic opportunity in our Dream Big Program, which has been very popular with our breeders. Last year, we booked Overanalyze very quickly on the Dream Big Program, and we anticipate Revolutionary will be just as well-received.”


Trained by Todd Pletcher, Revolutionary captured the 2013 Grade III Withers and Grade II Louisiana Derby in his first two starts of his sophomore season en route to running third in last year’s Kentucky Derby. The dark bay son of War Pass was freshened following a fifth place finish in the Belmont Stakes and returned to win two of five starts this year, including the Grade III Pimlico Special.


In his final career start, Revolutionary finished sixth in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 14. Out of the Grade I winning, A.P. Indy mare Runup the Colors, he retires with five wins from 13 starts and $1,353,125 in earnings.


Revolutionary is available for inspection at WinStar. For more information about Revolutionary, visit his website at

Belmont Stakes winner Jazil dead at age 11

Edited release:

Regally-bred Jazil, winner of the 2006 Belmont Stakes, died from injuries sustained in an accident in his paddock Saturday at Shadwell Farm in Lexington, it was announced Monday. The son of Seeking the Gold was 11 years old.

“It is a tragic loss, a sad day for all of us at Shadwell,” Shadwell Vice President Rick Nichols said in a release.  “ Jazil was a wonderful horse to be around.  He gave us many great memories from his thrilling stretch runs when he would launch an amazing finish from far back.  Jazil will be greatly missed.”

Trained by Lexington native Kiaran McLaughlin, Jazil’s victory in the Belmont Stakes marked the first in a Triple Crown race for Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.  Bred in Kentucky by Skara Glen Stables, Jazil was out of Better Than Honour, the 2007 Broodmare of the Year, and is a half brother to champion Rags to Riches, who became the just third filly ever to win the Belmont Stakes and first since 1905 when she defeated eventual champion Curlin in the final leg of the Triple Crown in 2007.Jazil was purchased as a yearling for $725,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September sale from the Lane’s End Farm consignment.  In addition to his win in the Belmont Stakes, Jazil was runner-up in that year’s Grade I Wood Memorial and fourth in the Kentucky Derby. He was on the board in eight of eleven starts and retired to Shadwell Farm in 2008 with earnings of  $890,532.During his career he sired 11 stakes horses, including Comediante, Horse of the Year in Venezuela.

Champion Wise Dan to miss Breeders’ Cup due to injured cannon bone

Two-time defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan will miss his run at a third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile win next month due to a non-displaced fracture at the bottom of the cannon bone of the right front fetlock, owner Morton Fink informed Breeders’ Cup officials Monday.

Fink, who also bred the 7-year-old Wiseman’s Ferry gelding, said trainer Charlie LoPresti called him Sunday night to inform him of the champion’s ailment. LoPresti has noticed swelling in the right front ankle and subsequent x-rays identified a non-displaced “half-moon shaped” fracture of the bottom of the cannon bone.

Fink said the fracture will not require surgery and that Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital recommended they wait at least 30 days and assess Wise Dan’s progress before making any further decision on whether he can return to racing.

“This horse has been everything to me, especially with the various illnesses I’ve had the last 10 years,” Fink said when reached Monday afternoon. “He’s the best medicine I’ve ever had. They’re telling me that the next 30 days will tell the story. If it grows back normally, we’re okay. If it doesn’t I will not run him unless he is 100 percent in any kind of race. He’ll be retired if it doesn’t grow back normal.”

Wise Dan had just notched a stellar one-length victory in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on October 4, his second win since returning from emergency colic surgery on May 16. LoPresti said the chestnut gelding would be hand walked “as many time a day as we want him to” as part of his recovery.

“He’s not in any kind of pain, no one would even know it to watch him walk” LoPresti said. “I just noticed he was a little bit off in his right front when we jogged him. He’s going to be fine, I know he will be fine. He doesn’t even know there is anything wrong with him.

“The biggest thing is I don’t want him to get hurt. The most important thing to  me is he is still standing.”

A six-time Eclipse Award winner, Wise Dan began his 2014 campaign with victories in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland and Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs before being felled by a bout of colic.

The colic surgery ended up being a best-case scenario given the situation as Wise Dan did not have to have any portion of his bowel resected.
The champion gelding made a complication-free recovery and notched his comeback victory in the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga on August 30, winning that test by a nose over Optimizer. He then followed that outing up with his win in the Shadwell Turf Mile where he recovered after missing the break.

“It’s hard to put into words but he’s certainly lifted me up,” Fink said of his charge. “He certainly took me to a place where I was feeling really good. If Bramlage says it will be perfectly safe to run him, I’ll run him. But no other way.”

Wise Dan has won 23 of 31 career starts including 11 Grade I triumphs and has career earnings of $7,552,920. He was attempting to join the champion mare Goldikova as the only horse to win three consecutive Breeders’ Cup races.

“We are very disappointed with the news this morning from Morton Fink that Wise Dan will not be able to defend his title before his many devoted fans at this year’s Breeders’ Cup,” added Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “Over the course of his brilliant career, Wise Dan has demonstrated extraordinary prowess, grit and determination on the racetrack as a two-time Breeders’ Cup champion and Horse of the Year.

“All of us at the Breeders’ Cup wish Wise Dan a speedy recovery.”



Champion and Hall of Famer Cigar dead at age 24

It wasn’t part of his 16-race win streak nor his 11 career Grade I wins and didn’t add to his nearly $10 million in career earnings. But the simple act of Cigar being Cigar was enough to leave Mike Pons awestruck one random afternoon.

“One of the first times I saw him at Kentucky Horse Park…there was a girl who had a baby in her stroller and Cigar was in the ring,” Pons recalled of the champion who was born on his family’s Maryland-based Country Life Farm. “While the gal was talking about him, the handler just let him go and he reached his neck over the ropes so this little girl – maybe a year old – could reach up and pet him on the nose.

“It was almost like a circus act. You had to see it to believe it.”


Sentiments of wonder became the go-to reaction when it came to Cigar’s exploits.


The two-time Horse of the Year and racing Hall of Famer now leaves the Thoroughbred community grieving after passing away at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital Tuesday evening at the age of 24 due to complications following surgery for severe osteoarthritis in his neck.


The charismatic bay horse, who was bred and campaigned by Allen Paulson, had been a most popular resident at the  Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions since his arrival there in 1999.


Kathy Hopkins, director of equine operations for the Horse Park, said Wednesday that Cigar “had been experiencing arthritis-related health issues over the past six months” and that “medical therapies had failed to relieve the pressure that the arthritis was causing on his spine, which had resulted in instability in his hind legs.”


Surgical correction was performed by a team led by Dr. Brett Woodie, of Rood and Riddle, Dr. Laura Werner, of Hagyard Equine, and Dr. Steve Reed, of Rood and Riddle who pioneered the special procedure performed.


Though Cigar initially appeared to come out of the surgery in good order, Dr. Reed said the son of Palace Music “suffered a vertebral fracture” during recovery and passed away.


“Every good horse I’ve ever been around knows they’re a good horse and knows they’re special. And Cigar certainly had that,” Wes Lanter, who oversees the Hall of Champions at the Horse Park, said of Cigar Wednesday morning. “There are people who would specifically plan their vacations and time every year just to come here and see him. He loved to stand at the fence, he loved being seen.


“He will certainly be missed here. Every day there is someone here who comes specifically to see him. He means a lot to the park, a lot to the Commonwealth and to us individually.”


Cigar’s death comes almost exactly seven years after the Horse Park lost fellow Hall of Famer John Henry. In terms of transcending the sport the last two decades, Cigar was arguably without peer.


His first nine starts were undistinguished as he toiled mostly in the allowance ranks on the turf under the care of trainer Alex Hassinger Jr.  After being transferred to Bill Mott at the start of 1994, the son of Palace Music found new form when his Hall of Fame conditioner tried him back on the dirt following four more losses on the turf, going one mile in an allowance test at Aqueduct that October 28.


A journey toward immortality began that day. His front-running, eight-length triumph kicked off a streak of 16 straight wins that would feature 10 Grade I triumphs.


Eight of those top-level triumphs came during his 10-for-10 championship campaign of 1995, an untouchable run that was capped with legendary announcer Tom Durkin famously calling him “the unconquerable, invincible, unbeatable Cigar” as he hit the line 2 1/2 lengths in front during the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont Park.

“I’m the ultimate worrier. But I never worried about him because he had such quickness from the gate, had such a high cruising speed,” said Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who rode Cigar in his final 19 career starts. “I could get out of any situation I might find myself in. He was never in trouble because he allowed me to use him to the degree that I was always outside in a perfect stalking position.
“I got to the point where I thought there was nothing this horse could not do.”


In 1996, Cigar traveled to Dubai for the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup – now the world’s richest race with a $10 million purse. His victory in that test not only put the World Cup itself on the map as a top global race, but solidified Cigar as an international star of the sport.


“It was like there was gold dust everywhere he went and he would sprinkle it around,” Pons said.


The toll of crisscrossing the country and racing at 10 different tracks over a year and a half caught up with the seemingly tireless horse in August 1996. Cigar’s win streak was broken when he ran second to Dare and Go in the Grade I Pacific Classic.


He was retired following a third-place finish in that’s year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, ending his career with 19 wins from 33 career starts and a then North American-record of $9,999,815 in earnings.

“For the first half of my career, I had like a doctor-patient relationship (with horses),” Bailey said. “I rode the horses, I worked them out in the morning and I went home. And it was nothing else. Until Cigar. He made me fall in love with horses.”


Cigar’s retirement was as splashy as his career. After begin paraded at Madison Square Garden during the 1996 National Horse Show, he was sent to stand at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles but was moved to the Horse Park after he proved to be infertile.


The breeding shed’s loss was a gain for the public as Cigar’s presence proved a great ambassador for the Horse Park. Year in and out, countless fans across the country would make the trip just to see the bay runner who remained in top flesh and full of attitude until the end.


“Cigar was an incredible horse who left an everlasting mark on the racing world,” said Ted Nicholson, interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “We are honored that Cigar was able to spend so many years of his life here at the park where he was visited by so many fans and will always be remembered.”


Like the other Hall of Champions horses who died in retirement at the park, Cigar will be buried on the Memorial Walk of Champions. A public memorial service will be held for Cigar at a future date, yet to be determined.


“He’s a horse who changed my life so to speak. Most horses you can’t say that about,” Mott said Wednesday. “Because of him, we were able to go so many places and meet so many great people, some that have remained friends today.


“He did a lot more than just win races for us.”


Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: Twitter: @horseracinghl.

Grade I winner My Conquestadory retired

Conquest Stables’ My Conquestadory, winner of the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland last October, has been retired trainer Mark Casse said Tuesday morning.

My Conquestadory had been pointing towards a start in Saturday’s Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland where she was expected to be among the race favorites. Casse said Tuesday he was unsatisfied with how the 3-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller had trained while at Keeneland and the decision was made to let her begin her second career in the breeding shed.

“I just didn’t feel watching her train at Keeneland that she was at her very best. And if you’re going to run in a race like the one this weekend, you have to be at your very best,” Casse said. “The owners and I talked about it and our feeling was she’s already a Grade I winner, she’s done a lot of things. She’s sound and she could have gone on and ran another year….I just didn’t want to risk any problems with her. So she’s already at Lane’s End.”

My Conquestadory captured the Alcibiades in her second career start after winning the Grade II Summer Stakes at Woodbine while facing males in her career debut last September. All of her six career starts have come against graded stakes company and her most recent start saw the dark bay filly run third in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks on August 16.

The sentimental value surrounding My Conquestadory is huge as well as she became the first Grade I winner for owners Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell, who operate Conquest Stables.

“She’s named after Dory and I think every time she runs and does anything, everybody worries and holds their breath because she’s just so special to them,” Casse said. “So it is bittersweet but I think there is also some relief that now she gets to go and be a mommy. They’re more excited about that than racing.

Bred by Paul Tackett, My Conquestadory retires with two wins from six career starts and $503,526 in earnings. The only time she was worse than third came when she finished fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“I’m sorry to see her go but hopefully we’ll have lots of little My Conquestadorys in the future,” Casse said.

My Conquestadory is the second major contender to be declared out of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup this week. On Monday, Team Valor announced that Euro Charline, impressive winner of the Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington on August, would miss the race after lameness was discovered in her right hind ankle. She is slated to undergo a nuclear scan later this week to confirm if bone bruising is present.

Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman said Tuesday that Grade III winner Speed Seeker is now slated to join the QEII lineup. The list of probables also includes Aurelia’s Belle, Ball Dancing, Crown Queen, Daring Dancer,  Minorette, Personal Diary, Sea Queen,  and Xcellence.



Top stallion Silver Deputy euthanized at age 29

Edited release:

Silver Deputy,  sire of seven champions, was euthanized on October 4 at Fred Seitz’s Brookdale Farm due to infirmities of old age. The son of Deputy Minister was 29 and had been pensioned at Brookdale since 2008.

Silver Deputy was from the first crop of eventual two-time leading stallion Deputy Minister and went on to carve out his own distinction in the breeding shed. Undefeated in two starts for Windfields Farm before a knee injury cut his racing career shot, Silver Deputy entered stud at his owner’s Ontario, Canada-based operation for an initial fee of $2,500 in 1989.

His first crop saw him finish second to Forty Niner on the 1992 North American Freshman sire list. After moving to Brookdale for the remainder of his career, his fee would rise to as high as $75,000 in 2000 thanks to the exploits of such top offspring like Hall of Famer Silverbulletday, the champion 2-year-old filly of 1998 and champion 3-year-old filly of 1999.

Silver Deputy sired 694 winners and 88 stakes winners with progeny earnings of  more than $88 million. Other notable offpsring include Canadian champions Archers Bay, Deputy Inxs, Deputy Jane West, Scotzanna, Poetically, and Larkwhistle. His sons at stud include Posse, Spring at Last, Badge of Silver and Archers Bay.

Silver Deputy was buried at Brookdale Farm.

Don’t Tell Sophia scores first Grade I triumph in Juddmonte Spinster

Phil Sims knew the closing kick was coming.

Since the time the Kentucky-based trainer purchased Don’t Tell Sophia for the minimum starting bid of $1,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale, the Congaree mare had rarely failed to deliver a quality effort, finishing no worse than third in the last two years.

Of her 11 prior wins from 22 previous starts, however, none of those triumphs had come against Grade I company. Facing the filly widely considered the best distaffer in the nation, Don’t Tell Sophia’s latest rendition of her signature late-run proved the best of her enduring career.

There was little on paper to suggest multiple Grade I winner Close Hatches would be anything but the class of the field in Sunday’s Grade I, $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland. When the 1-to-5 favorite shockingly backed up in the six-horse field, it was hard-knocking Don’t Tell Sophia surging into the role of giant killer, fighting past Grade I winner Ria Antonia with a last-to-first rally and surviving a subsequent objection to win the 1 1/8-miles test by 2 1/2 lengths.

Trained and co-owned by Sims, 6-year-old Don’t Tell Sophia is the quintessential blue-collar heroine who is now likely slated for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park on October 31.
The bay mare has improved every year on the track, notching her first graded stakes score when she won the Grade II Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs last November.

This March, she came within 1 3/4-lengths of Close Hatches when that one won the Grade II Azeri at Oaklawn. As Don’t Tell Sophia’s bullet five-furlong move at Keeneland on September 28 signaled, she was never better than she was facing the Juddmonte Farms homebred again.

“I saw Sophie coming like a freight train and I said ‘She’s going to run them down’,” said Sims, who co-owns the mare with Jerry Namy and earned his only other Grade I win when he saddle Hot Cha Cha to victory in the 2009 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. “We didn’t want to get cocky, but we went into the race with confidence.

“It’s a dream, it is. It’s huge of course. I felt giddy about her, but just tried to keep it to myself.”

As reliable as Don’t Tell Sophia’s kick has been, Close Hatches had been lethal on the front end this year, coming into the Spinster unbeaten in four prior starts this season.The 4-year-old daughter of First Defence took the Grade I Apple Blossom, Grade I Odgen Phipps and was coming off a five-length win in the Grade I Personal Ensign.

Though she cruised along up front Sunday through fractions of 24.19 and 47.47, she had Ria Antonia at her throat the whole way and had no response when jockey Joel Rosario called on her in the stretch, fading to fourth behind Molly Morgan.

“When that horse (Ria Antonia) came to me she kind of stayed there,” Rosario said. “She gave me a little bit, but normally when they come to her she keeps on going and improves her position.”

After rating at the back of the six-horse field, Don’t Tell Sophia was giving jockey Joe Rocco Jr. all the confidence as she began picking up ground with ever-lengthening strides five-wide around the final turn.
Though she appeared to angle in front of Ria Antonia during her stretch run, the stewards deemed Don’t Tell Sophia was already clear and that it had no bearing on the order of finish.

“I just take my time with her,” Sims said of his mare who has now has $979,295 in career earnings. “I let her tell me when she’s ready, what she wants to do. With her pedigree, she gets better with age.”

Final time for the test was 1:49.80 over a fast track. As satisfying as the win was for Don’t Tell Sophia, the runner-up effort by Ria Antonia was as equally so for the connections of the filly who has not won in eight starts since being awarded the win in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies via disqualification.

“It’s very gratifying for (owner) Ron (Paolucci),” trainer Tom Amoss said. “He’s taken a lot of heat about what his filly is, but she’s now second in a Grade I against older fillies.”

The juxtaposition of emotions played out with enormous class during the winner’s circle presentation as representatives of Juddmonte had to hand over the trophy most expected their homebred mare to earn with ease.

“We’ll take her back and get her checked out,” Juddmonte Farms manager Garrett O’Rourke said of Close Hatches. “They get beaten half a length, you say it could be she got out run. But to be beaten that far (7 1/4 lengths), obviously something was amiss. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

“Some days it’s our turn, some days it’s someone else’s turn. I’m absolutely delighted for Phil. There is no one more deserving.”

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: Twitter: @horseracinghl.

Champion Wise Dan not to be denied in G1 Shadwell Turf Mile triumph

From the start, everything looked to be going awry, so much so that it sent real angst rippling through the connections of the horse who has refused to yield to repeated perils.

The famed chestnut face of two-time defending Horse of the year Wise Dan was cocked sideways as the starting gate for the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile opened. As he recovered  from breaking at the back of the eight-horse field to get into contention during the $1 million test, his former conqueror was running devoid of pressure on the front end.

With a quarter mile to go, the future Hall of Famer looked like he was about to suffer his second loss in the eight-furlong test. But with the arrival of the finish line came business as usual: an awe-inspiring victory worthy of an all-timer, complete with as emotional an outpouring as he has ever inspired.

In absence of adequate superlatives to describe Morton Fink’s 11-time Grade I winner, the tears from his camp and reception from the Keeneland crowd of 25,070 spoke as eloquently as any about Wise Dan’s one-length triumph over Grand Arch in Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile.

As much as the chestnut gelding’s presence in the winner’s circle was fully expected, the path there was peppered with pitfalls, from his missing the break to last year’s Turf Mile winner Silver Max winging it up front through a soft half mile in 48.27 while Wise Dan raced between horses in sixth.

Superior athletes have a way of turning a tide when defeat looms. With his Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez delivering right-handed urging, Wise Dan kept his 7-year-old legs churning, edging up from seventh on far outside, past Grand Arch to his inside and Sayaad on the rail for his 23rd career victory, third Grade I win this year and second triumph since returning from emergency colic surgery on May 16.

“It was emotional in Saratoga (winning the Grade II Bernard Baruch on August 30) but it was really emotional here,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said. “He’s just an incredible horse, I don’t know what else to say.

“When I saw that 24 and change with Silver Max I said he’s done, he’s going to steal this race. But (Wise Dan) just started cruising up the backside, Johnny got him settled. I don’t know how fast he ran the last quarter but he had to be flying. An incredible performance.”

The joyous screams that came from Amy LoPresti, wife and assistant to Charlie LoPresti, and Leona Velazquez, wife of John Velazquez, as they hugged and scrambled their way down the tunnel post race was matched by the ovation that welcomed Wise Dan as he made his way back past the stands.

Perhaps the most telling part of the gelded son of Wiseman Ferry’s latest win was how hard Velazquez had to work to get him pulled up after hitting the wire in 1:35.62 over a course rated good.

“The stretch was the easy part,” said John Velazquez, who won five races on the card including a sweep of all three Grade I contests on the day. “Going that slow, I was a little concerned I was going to be clipping heels. I was saying. ‘Buddy, be easy, easy, easy.’ Once I pulled him out of there, he kicked his usual kick. When I pulled him out, he was there for me.”

The racing public has come to expect nothing less from Wise Dan, he of the back-to-back victories in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and $7,552,920 in career earnings.

His only career loss in 16 starts on the turf came in the 2011 edition of the Shadwell Turf Mile and his only defeat in 2013 came when he was second in the race behind Silver Max when the test was taken off the turf due to inclement weather. If his wins in the Shadwell and Bernard Baruch answered the question if he could be his old self post surgery, the one LoPresti and Fink will now field is whether a third run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile will be on tap or if they take a swing at the $5 million Classic at Santa Anita Park on November 1.

“He’s doing what he’s been doing and we have no reason to change it,” Fink said.

Added LoPresti, “I think he deserves come consideration to run in the Classic, it’s up to Mr. Fink. But I would not be afraid to run him in either race.”

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: Twitter: @horseracinghl.

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