Wise Dan back at Keeneland; Romans lobbies for Little Mike
Wise Dan, the course record-setting victor in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Mile,
left Santa Anita early Sunday morning and arrived at Blue Grass Airport in
Lexington, Kentucky, at 11:35 a.m. (EST).
|Wise Dan will get a vacation
after burnishing his Horse of the Year credentials in the Mile
Amy Lopresti, wife of trainer Charles Lopresti, gave an update on the Horse
of the Year candidate.
"He's back in his stall now," she reported from Barn 62 at Keeneland, located
just across the road from Blue Grass Airport, an hour after Wise Dan landed.
"He was eager to get off the van and be back home."
The trainer was on a later flight out of Los Angeles and due in Kentucky
The victory by Wise Dan, coupled with Groupie Doll's victory in the Filly &
Mare Sprint and Fort Larned in the Classic, capped a big day for a close-knit
group of connections.
"We were all so happy for Buff (Bradley, trainer of Groupie Doll) and Ian
(Wilkes, trainer of Fort Larned)," Amy Lopresti said. "They are all nice people.
We are all blessed to have horses like that, and it has been a pretty remarkable
last three years for Charlie with horses like Wise Dan, Successful Dan and
Trainer Buff Bradley
had a 6 o'clock flight to Kentucky Sunday morning, leaving groom Matt Hebert in
charge of things with Groupie Doll.
this morning and ate up everything last night," said Hebert, who will accompany
the dominating Filly & Mare Sprint winner back to Kentucky later Sunday. "She
ran hard yesterday and slept a lot last night."
Plans for Wise Dan include spending the winter at the Lopresti farm where
Wise Dan has spent the winter the past two years before returning to the races
the following April at Keeneland.
"He will probably get 45 to 60 days at the farm, but it is up to him," Amy
Lopresti said of Wise Dan. "Charlie won't get in a big hurry with him because
the goal is to have the horse at his best toward the mid- to late-summer and the
fall for the big races."
Trainer Dale Romans reported that all of his Breeders' Cup starters -- Turf
hero Little Mike; Dullahan, ninth in the Turf; Moonwalk, seventh in the Juvenile
Fillies Turf; Shackleford, seventh in the Dirt Mile; and Summit County, 12th in
the Juvenile Turf -- came
out of their respective races in good order.
|Little Mike ran his heart out in the Turf, but is up against Wise Dan for divisional honors
After Little Mike's record-setting win in the Turf,
the winner's circle with friends, Carlo and Priscilla Vaccarezza, the breeder
and owners of the popular five-year-old gelding.
"Mike is a
special horse for us and Carlo is one of my close friends. It was a great day
for everyone," Romans said.
a front-running specialist who won the Grade 1 Arlington Million and Grade 1 Woodford Reserve
Turf Classic on the lead, found himself in the unfamiliar position of racing off
the lead in the 1 1/2-mile turf race. The son of Spanish Steps rated nicely in third
behind Turbo Compressor and Optimizer before gaining the lead leaving the turn
into the homestretch and holding off favored Point of Entry by a half-length.
than most horses. We had a plan for the first 100 yards to give him a shot to go
to the front, but I thought those two horses might outsprint him to the lead,
and they did," Romans said. "We told Ramon (Dominguez) just be ahead of the real
contenders, because any horse that would get in front of him would have to go
too fast to finish anyway."
Little Mike's case for being voted the Eclipse Award for male turf performer.
"I don't see
how anyone can beat Mike for turf champion. I know that Wise Dan is a great
racehorse, but I don't think his resume stacks up to Mike's. He won one of the
major races in America and the Arlington Million and the Turf Classic."
ship Little Mike back to Kentucky before continuing on to Florida for the
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