Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wisely Done: Wise Dan Impresses Again

As the horses turned for home in Friday's Clark Handicap (GI), I stated, “Exactly how I wanted it.” I’d expected Wise Dan to put in a monster performance and for Flat Out to run well but not quite get there. In addition, I wanted to see Mission Impazible, one of my favorites, do well. All of those happened.
Wise Dan has had a very impressive year, winning graded stakes races on the turf, synthetic, and dirt. His dominant Clark victory provided him with his first grade one win, boosting his earnings to $919,601.
The beautiful chestnut son of Wiseman’s Ferry won the final grade one of the year for Churchill Downs at odds of 9-2. Coming off a four-length triumph in the Fayette Stakes (GII), Wise Dan put in a similar performance in the Clark, drawing off to win by three and three-quarters lengths. In second was the multiple graded stakes-winning Mission Impazible, who finished nearly three lengths ahead of Flat Out.

While Julien Leparoux opted to run in the Matriarch Stakes (GI) at Hollywood Park rather than ride Wise Dan in the Clark, John Velazquez got the mount on the four-year-old gelding. It was somewhat similar to Velazquez picking up the mount on Animal Kingdom prior to this year’s Kentucky Derby (GI).
On a special note, Wise Dan is a homebred for his owner, Morton Fink, whose 82nd birthday is on Thursday. With his dominant win, Wise Dan will likely garner a few votes for Older Male of the Year, but the award looks like it will go to Game On Dude. Nonetheless, the chesnut's Clark performance was brilliant. He is rounding into incredible form and come 2012, Wise Dan will be a force to be reckoned with.

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