TORONTO, August 26 – Trainer Charles Lopresti today revealed he expects Morton Fink’s 2012 Eclipse Award winning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, to return to Woodbine next month to defend his Grade 1, $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile title.
“There’s a very, very, very good possibility he’s coming to Canada,” Lopresti said, Monday morning. “He’s in really good form.”
Lopresti did have a caveat.
He wanted to see how Turallure, another of the barn’s stable stars, would run this weekend before cementing a Woodbine return for Wise Dan.
“I’m just waiting to see how well Turallure runs in the Bernard Baruch (1 1/8-mile race at Saratoga set for this Saturday) and we’ll make our final decision,” Lopresti said. “I feel pretty certain that we’re coming there but there’s an outside chance that if Turallure doesn’t run well, we might keep (Wise Dan) at Keeneland and run him in the Shadwell (a one-mile turf race at Keeneland on October 5). If Turallure runs well, I can’t bring him up there with only a two week break, so Wise Dan would come for sure. So, there’s a very good chance he’s coming.”
The Ricoh Woodbine Mile is set for Sunday, September 15 and is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race.
Turallure, prominent in his own right, also won an edition of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile in 2011.
Lopresti said a Woodbine visit makes sense for Wise Dan.
“He was really good last year,” he said. “He liked it there. He liked the turf. He galloped over it well. I think he’s coming into this race just as good as he was last year. I think he’s in top form. This is the time of year he really gets good.”
Wise Dan, arguably the biggest name in thoroughbred racing as the continent’s number one ranked horse, is undefeated in his last eight starts doing it with an unmatched style and heart.
The nominations list for the Ricoh Woodbine Mile will be announced Friday.