Saturday, November 3, 2012
Wise Dan awesome in BC Mile
By Tom Lamarra
Morton Fink's Wise Dan squarely but himself in the mix for a variety of championships this year with a superior course-record victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3.
With John Velazquez riding as usual for trainer Charles Lopresti, Wise Dan sat third behind front-running Obviously early in the race before moving into second on the final turn. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Wiseman's Ferry took the lead in the lane and wasn't threatened, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Animal Kingdom.
Wise Dan, who paid $5.60 as the favorite, finished the one mile on turf in 1:31.78 to break the previous Santa Anita record of 1:31.89 set by Atticus in 1997. Animal Kingdom, returning from a long layoff, ran extremely well, rallying between horses to nab second over Obviously.
Wise Dan, also bred by Fink, has now won four consecutive one-mile turf races, three of them grade I and one grade II. He also won the grade III Ben Ali Stakes on Polytrack to start his 2012 campaign, and just missed in the grade I Stephen Foster Handicap on dirt.