While the handicap division is lacking in star power, it may soon get a boost as two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan has resumed regular training and we could see him in a race as soon as August according to his trainer Charlie LoPresti.
The gelding has not raced since winning the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last October. Soon after a non-displaced fracture of his fetlock at the bottom of his right front cannon bone was discovered. It did not require surgery but prevented him for going for a third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and possibly a third consecutive Horse of the Year title.
He won all four of his starts in 2014 taking the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1), Woodford Reserve (G1) and Bernard Baruch (G2) before capping off his year by winning the Shadwell Turf Mile.
In his career, he has won 23 of his 31 starts and has earned $7.5 million. He has six Eclipse Awards, sweeping top older horse, top turf horse and Horse of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013.
His first start of 2015 likely will come in either the Fourstardave (G2) on Aug. 15 or the Bernard Baruch (G2) on Sept. 7, both at Saratoga, or the Woodbine Mile (G1) at Woodbine on Sept. 13. The goal would be to get him ready for the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
“Saratoga doesn’t open until July 20, and I’m not really sure if we’re going to keep him here and train him all summer or bring him up there,” LoPresti said via Claire Novak of Bloodhorse. “I’m leaning towards maybe training him here [Keeneland] all summer and getting ready for the Woodbine race.”
In addition to his injury, the 2014 campaign was delayed by colic surgery back in May.
The turf division is not deep this year, with Main Sequence currently the top horse in training. The Graham Motion trainee will race in the United Nations (G1) this weekend at Monmouth Park but will most likely defend his title in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and will not face Wise Dan.
If California Chrome runs big in the Arlington Million (G1) next month it is possible he could land in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, but if Wise Dan comes back at the top of his game, the connections might want to opt for going in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
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