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Aug 17, 2012

Wise Dan makes major move in NTRA Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - After weeks of dropping in the voting, Wise Dan shot up the NTRA National Thoroughbred Poll in week 24. Remaining at the head of the class is five-year-old gelding Game On Dude.

Wise Dan, at one time this year the leader among voters, improved his position seven spots off Saturday's win in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga Race Course. Trained by Charles Lopresti, the five-year-old gelding is third behind Game On Dude and Mucho Macho Man with 250 points.

"I knew Wise Dan was better on synthetic and I knew he liked the grass," Lopresti noted from Saratoga. "(Wise Dan) really didn't handle the dirt track here, but in the last 10 days he's really started to handle it well.

"I know he likes this dirt track now. "So maybe, 10 days, we may breeze him over it, and maybe (look at the) Woodward (Sept. 3) or the Woodbine Mile (Sept. 16)."

Hollywood Gold Cup champ Game On Dude picked up two more first-place votes from the 18 last week. Set for the Pacific Classic on Aug. 26, Bob Baffert's horse received a poll leading 372 points.

Suburban Handicap winner Mucho Macho Man again picked up five first-place votes and 291 points to remain second in the voting. Trainer Kathy Ritvo has the four-year-old colt headed for the Woodward Handicap at Saratoga on Saturday, Sept. 1.

"He's always been a pretty smart horse; he's just starting to grow into his body and put on a lot of muscle. What I love about him is he's professional and he's consistent," said Ritvo. "You put the bridle on to go over in the afternoon, and he just settles right down. He's a gentleman. It's a lot of fun to watch him run."

Whitney runner-up Ron the Greek is steady in fourth with one top vote and 242 points. Two points back in fifth is champion filly Royal Delta who has three first-place votes and 240 points.

Acclamation, preparing to defend the Pacific Classic, is down a rung to sixth with three first-place votes and 229 points.

Whitney Handicap champ Fort Larned is seventh with 207 points followed by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another with 10 top votes and 167 points, Shackleford (1, 89) and Paynter (66).

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