Lopresti plots races for the 'Dans', Turallure
Trainer Charlie Lopresti thought Wise Dan was going to win last Saturdays' Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, but Ron the Greek under Jose Lezcano found an opening on the rail and got up just in time to beat the winner of last fall's Grade 1 Clark Handicap.
"I thought we were going to win it and we started jumping up and down," Lopresti said. "Then I saw the other horse coming and it was almost like the Breeders' Cup."
The Foster finish brought to mind last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs when Turallure, also trained by Lopresti, finished second by a nose to Court Vision.
"(Wise Dan) ran a good race," Lopresti said. "When you get beat like that, it's not like your horse didn't show up, you're just a little unfortunate. The horse that beat us is a good horse and (trainer) Billy (Mott) had a huge night. He's a great trainer and any time you run second to him in a big race like that, you can't be too disappointed."
Lopresti said has been pleased with the five-year-old chestnut son of Wiseman's Ferry in the days since his runner-up effort in the Stephen Foster.
"Wise Dan is doing very, very well," Lopresti said. "He's not even acting like he ran, which is scary. He'll go to the (Grade 1) Whitney (Handicap at Saratoga on August 4)."
Wise Dan was entered in the Foster as an entry with another Mort Fink homebred, Successful Dan, who was scratched the morning of the race. Successful Dan, who won the Grade 2 Alysheba in track-record time, was entered only as a back-up plan if Wise Dan needed to scratch.
"Successful Dan is doing great," Lopresti said. “He's going in the (Grade 3) Cornhusker (Handicap) next week at Prairie Meadows."
The previously mentioned Turallure has raced twice since his narrow defeat in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He was second by a neck behind Data Link in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile on the turf at Keeneland and then finished seventh in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard.
"Turallure is doing really well," Lopresti said. “I think we ran him back a little too quick after the race at Keeneland. He ran his eyeballs out that day and just lost to Data Link, who won another stake at Monmouth.
“We're going to run him in the (Grade 2) Firecracker Handicap (at Churchill Downs on July 1) and then we'll take him to Saratoga for the (Grade 2) Fourstardave (Handicap on August 11). That's the plan."
Lopresti will be seeking back-to-back wins in the Firecracker, as last year he won last year's renewal with Wise Dan, who was making his career debut on turf in the race.
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