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Apr 18, 2014

Trainer shows relief after Wise Dan debut


Lexington, KY ( - Wise Dan, the reigning two-time Horse of the Year, got the job down Friday when he made his 2014 debut a winning one in the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile over Keeneland's grass course.

The victory by the 7-year-old gelding was a relief to his trainer Charles LoPresti.

"I am glad that is over," LoPresti said Saturday. "I had him maybe 80 percent and would have liked to have had a couple more breezes. I had to put some wind in him and that's why I breezed him the other day.

"He's doing fine this morning and he ate up everything last night. He got a little tired at the 16th pole and I think that breeze is what got him home."

Ridden by John Velazquez, Wise Dan went off as the 2-5 favorite in the six- horse field. He came home with a three-quarter length victory in the same race in which he victoriously began his 2013 season.

LoPresti, who trains Wise Dan for Morton Fink, has tentatively scheduled the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 3 as the champion's next race. The chestnut gelding won that race last year as well.

"That is not set in stone yet," LoPresti said. "I just wanted to get through this first."

A six-time Eclipse Award winner, Wise Dan has won the last two Breeders' Cup Miles and since the beginning of 2012 has won 12 of 14 starts. His bankroll now totals $6,473,610 with 20 wins in 28 lifetime starts. He bettered his mark at Keeneland to three wins in four starts as he also won the track's Shadwell Turf Mile in 2012.

"This horse is incredible. They don't come around that often. He's definitely a special horse, and he's proven it the last two-three years," Velazquez noted after winning the Maker's 46 Mile.

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