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Aug 29, 2014

Wise Dan makes return in Bernard Baruch


Saratoga Springs, NY ( - Reigning two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will make his much anticipated return to racing in Saturday's $250,000 Bernard Baruch Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan has drawn post 5 in the 11-horse field going 1 1/16 miles and will carry highweight of 127 pounds, including Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. The 3-5 morning line favorite, trained by Charlie LoPresti, has been away from competition since colic surgery on May 16.

"He's gotten back to where he was; he's dragging his rider around there," LoPresti said. "His works have been really good, and they've been basically not even asking him to do that. He's just been doing it in hand.

"I think he's back to himself again. It took him a while to get back. We were probably two works short of the Fourstardave. Once we got him up here, I realized I was trying to play catch-up to make that race and this makes more sense. I can't say that any race at Saratoga is easy, but this is an easier spot, I think, for him to come back in."

Wise Dan won both starts this year before his medical problem. He began 2014 with a second straight win in the Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland on April 11 and also claimed a second straight Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.

Wise Dan, winner of the last two Breeders' Cup Miles, has career earnings of $6,802,920 with 21 wins in 29 starts.

Here is the field for the Bernard Baruch in post position order: Optimizer, Alan Garcia, 30-1; Bio Pro, Jose Lezcano, 50-1; North Star Boy, Irad Ortiz Jr., 20-1; Boisterous, Javier Castellano, 5-1; Wise Dan, John Velazquez, 3-5; Lea, Joel Rosario, 4-5; Paris Vegas, Luis Saez, 12-1; Red Rifle, no jockey, 3-1; Five Iron, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Sayaad, Jose Ortiz, 6-1 and Sky Blazer, Rajiv Maragh, 15-1.

Bio Pro and Boisterous are coupled. Lea and Red Rifle will start on the main track only.

Post time for the Bernard Baruch will be approximately 3:15 p.m. ET.

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