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LoPresti looking to avoid handicaps for Wise Dan next year

Wise Dan could be seeing more of Woodbine in 2014 while avoiding early-season handicaps (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Charles LoPresti, trainer of reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan, has yet to taste defeat at Woodbine and is considering spending more time at the Toronto oval in 2014.

LoPresti, perfect through two Woodbine starts, won the 2011 edition of the $1 million Woodbine Mile with Turallure and retained the title last year with Wise Dan.

Although based in Kentucky, LoPresti is considering using Woodbine's King Edward Stakes, a one-mile turf event held this year on June 23 when won by Mile rival Riding the River, as a potential stop on the superstar's 2014 campaign.

"I think his (Wise Dan) toughest race this year was at Churchill in the Firecracker," said LoPresti, of the one-mile turf race held on June 29. "For as little money as he ran for he had to carry the top weight of 128 pounds on a tough course.

"If I had it to do all over again, I probably would have brought him to Canada and run him in the King Edward. It was for more money and it wasn't a handicap race, so I'm going to reconsider what I do with him next year. I don't want to put weight on him if I don't have to. The race (at Woodbine) is a C$200,000 race as opposed to $150,000, without having to carry all the weight."

Carrying 128 pounds over yielding turf in the Firecracker Handicap ensured that the victorious Wise Dan would inevitably carry more weight next time out in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga, which the gelding won carrying an additional pound over a good turf.

"When we put that weight on him in the Firecracker, it set a precedent for the rest of the year and he had to carry more weight in the Fourstardave," LoPresti acknowledged. "We'll carry 126 pounds in the Woodbine Mile, and he won't be giving such a spread to the other horses. That's the biggest concern. It's not the weight, it's the spread."

Wise Dan breezed four furlongs in :48 1/5 Tuesday morning at Keeneland in his final tune up for the race.

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