Wise Dan an Efficient Machine

It is looking more and more as if Wise Dan will remain doing what he’s been doing best and will not venture back on the dirt for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. There had been talk about a possible start in the Whitney, but that didn’t happen, and his big brother, Successful Dan, proved to be an able substitute, running one of the best races of his often-interrupted career.

So, if you’re not going to attempt to join the all-time greats, you might as well attempt to be great at what you do. And Wise Dan will take a big step in that direction when he carries 129 pounds (yes, 129 pounds in 2013) in the Fourstardave Handicap, conceding 12 pounds to classy horses such as King Kreesa, Mr. Commons, and Lea and 11 pounds to the brilliant miler Za Approval, who will be dropping six pounds from his second-place finish to Obviously in the grade I Shoemaker Mile.

Wise Dan also drew the rail, so he likely will be at the mercy of any jockeys who are intent on trapping him down on the inside, as they did in the Firecracker. In addition, he will have to keep an eye on the likely pacesetter, King Kreesa, who has a ton of speed and could be winging out there with a comfortable lead.

Add all this up and you have what looks to be a tough spot for the reigning Horse of the Year. But considering what he had to overcome in the Firecracker over a boggy course, and considering what we’ve seen in his last seven races, starting with last year’s Fourstardave, Wise Dan still has one thing in his favor – he knows how to win and always seems to find a way to get it done. If he didn’t get beat in the Firecracker, he may never get beat. To come through a nearly non-existent hole along the hedge the way he did over a course not to his liking showed what he’s made of and was more inspiring than any of his prior brilliant victories.

Wise Dan’s main weapon is his tactical speed and his incredible efficiency in motion. He’s never too far back and he’s never too close. He always puts himself in position to unleash his explosive stretch kick. In the stretch, there is absolutely no wasted action. Looking at him closely in his stall last week, you can see from his body length and the hind muscles just how he generates all that power and the ground he covers with such ease.

We recently wrote a column about how we’d like to see him, even if only once, aim for the stars and point for the BC Classic, and if it doesn’t work out, then return to mile grass races. It was suggested only because the greatness is there, and he’s already shown he can handle the dirt in top-class company going two turns. But with the Whitney opportunity gone, we are resigned to his remaining on the grass. And if his connections are content with that and have no desire to push it any further, then you have to respect that and just be content to watch him excel in his own comfort zone.

This is the era of the specialists, and we have seen sprinters like Black Caviar and milers like Frankel become national heroes. The longer Wise Dan’s winning streak continues, the more likely he will join that company.

The voters obviously love him, giving him three Eclipse Awards last year over Fort Larned in the older male division and Little Mike and Point of Entry in the grass male division, all of whom were equally deserving of the honors. He just needs a little PR to reach mainstream America.

If Wise Dan can get through this true handicap test, just like the old-time handicappers had to do, then it should be clear sailing once again to the Breeders’ Cup Mile. If he gets beat under the conditions, he will be forgiven, because he is at least attempting to achieve greatness in this manner.

Wise Dan’s owner, 83-year-old Morton Fink, has been in racing for over 40 years and has had his share of good horses, but nothing like Wise Dan, and probably nothing like Successful Dan, although Guided Tour, Annoconnor, and Producer were no slouches.

He knows a good horse when he sees one, and he’s gotten to the point where he expects Wise Dan to always find a way to get the job done, even in a race like the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“I actually got to the point where I believed the horse couldn’t lose, no matter who he’s running against,” he said. “I knew the Breeders’ Cup wasn’t an easy race, but after seeing all his races I thought whatever he had to do to win he would do. And he did.”

And he said that earlier this year before the Firecracker, so he now must really believe that, even though he says, “If you don’t have a good trip, you don’t win.” Wise Dan did a great job in the Firecracker convincing him that’s not always the case.

Fink recently began to cut back on his racing operation, and he retired from breeding altogether. But he decided to keep one mare, Lisa Danielle.

“The only reason I kept her is because she was named after my granddaughter, who I love deeply,” Fink said.

He bought Lisa Danielle in the first place only because he figured she would fit at Arlington, which is his home base, and it would give him a horse to go look at. She was a beautiful filly, but had bad ankles.

“People kept asking me, ‘Why would you keep that filly?’ I know enough not to do that, but I just didn’t want to get rid of her.”

Well, look at the magical journey Lisa Danielle has taken him on with sons of Wiseman’s Ferry (Wise Dan), who he raced, and Successful Appeal.

As much as Fink loves a admires Successful Dan, especially considering all the setbacks he’s had to endure, Wise Dan is his “miracle horse,” and to have him come along right after Successful Dan was “beyond belief.”

Fink’s love of horses must be pretty deep considering he’s allergic to them. “I can go over and give them a carrot or something, and then I have to get the hell out of there,” he said.

Fink says, at age 83, you have to have something to do when you get up in the morning or you can get pretty depressed.

Between Wise Dan and Successful Dan he doesn’t have to worry about having something to do when he wakes up. It makes sense that he wants to keep both horses around for as long as possible. If keeping Wise Dan on the grass and being confident of victory every time he runs is what makes him happy, then that’s obviously the path he should take.

All others can do is offer their own opinions regarding what they would like to see the horse do in the name of history. But in the end, it is the owner’s decision. And for Fink, history is now.

58 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Dr Drunkinbum

Bethany Loftis

    Let the games begin, let's get this show on the road, dinner at eight. Greatness comes from doing what one does best, winning time after time with unbelievable performances against the best in the world.

   I wouldn't expect Steve Haskin or Stephen King to write Of Mice and Men, nor would I expect Steve Haskin or John Steinbeck to write The Shining. I wouldn't expect Stephen King or John Steinbeck to be able to come close to being abble to write the multitude of astonishing horse racing stories that Steve Haskin has written. All are great. They all specialized. Human marathon runners don't have to run a 100 meter dash to prove their greatness. Like Frankel, Secretariat, Zenyatta, and Affirmed, Wise Dan has done things tha are beyond belief, jaw dropping. Wise Dan has a unique, dominating power combination. He not only is a great, great thoroughbred but is a made man too.

08 Aug 2013 4:53 PM
Jim of G

  I don't know Steve but Wise Dan was within a couple of whiskers of working on a 14 race winning streak.  Your colleague Evan Hammond faults him for not carrying enough weight and you for not going back to dirt and you both would deny him "greatness".  I wouldn't.  You know except for the "2nd" in the Foster he's never finished on the "board" when not winning which makes me think he should not have ever lost a race except maybe his debut when he finished 5th.  I'm certain he'll take on that other "near great" Game on Dude in BC Classic and it might be one for the ages.

08 Aug 2013 5:45 PM
greyghost

Fink is not a pushy owner. He prefers to live in the here and now. He has a horse that suits his comfort zone and he is aptly named. Wise Dan is wise beyond his years. He has the respect of his owners, and he rewards them every time he steps on the track.

08 Aug 2013 6:01 PM
Steve Haskin

Just, just where do I fault him or deny him t the opposite. degrees of greatness. If you want to put him in the same category as Forego, Kelso, and John Henry go right ahead. Why shouldnt he have lost the Foster? Because he was beaten a head? Ron the Greek caught him and he lost, just like every other horse who lost a photo. I said he was a great horse, but not among the all-time greats. A BC Classic win could change that, but thats not what theyre looking for. What I'd like to see them do has no bearing on what they should and will do. I cant write any more positive things about the horse than I did in this column.

08 Aug 2013 7:02 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

IMHO Wise Dan will be the greatest American Turf Miler ever.  Especially if he gets the 2nd BC Mile.  There maybe the Dr.Fager's etc who ran more brilliant Miles on grass but, he didn't race over turf enough to be the greatest TURF miler, and Wise Dan IMO is far better Turf Miler then Lure..so.

08 Aug 2013 8:05 PM
Racingfan

Another great post Steve - along with the last one on Invasor!  Thank you for continuing to post regularly - it's so great to log on and see a new post from you!  I agree that Wise Dan is a terrific horse and I am enjoying him.  I would not classify him with the all time greats either - maybe not even if he were to win the Classic.  But that does not spoil the fun in watching his races to me.  

On another note...those of us who have been bugging you for a book. You mentioned awhile back not having a publisher...what about Bloodhorse who did your book with Bob Baffert (I have it and its great!) or Eclipse Press (also Bloodhorse I guess) who did the Thoroughbred Legend series (have several of them including your excellent Kelso book as well as your Tales From the Triple Crown which I think is my favorite)?  Just a thought...would love to have another book from you!

08 Aug 2013 9:42 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, ITA with all you said. Wise Dan is a great horse but not among the all time greats-not yet. The potential is there though. Specialists can be great in their own right i.e. Frankel and Black Caviar. But the 1 1/4 mile is the acid test and trumps the shorter distances in my opinion which is why I consider Secretariat  a level above Frankel and Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra a level above Black Caviar. When you get a horse that shows they can do the shorter and longer distances, like Dr. Fager, that is a truly spectacular horse.

08 Aug 2013 10:22 PM
Ranagulzion

There are many routes to all tme greatness for Wise Dan.  If he keeps on dominating his competiton this year and the next while remaining on the turf he would qualify.  Also,if along the way he manages to set another track record or two, he'll get there even faster (no pun intended). Then there is the possibility of a trip across the pond to Royal Ascot ...why not?  I certainly think that he could've matched strides with Frankel, had the two clashed last year. So far no other European thoroughbred has emerged of that calibre to cause Fink or Lopresti to balk at the idea. If they wish they can do anything with this magnificent gelding including another escapade on dirt, like revisiting the Clarke after demolishing the Breeders Cup Mile competition. A far as I can see Wise Dan is travelling immortality street right now and may not get off anytime soon.

Regarding retaing the HOTY title, they do have to keep an eye on Todd Pletcher's crackerjack, Verrazano ...he's dangerous.

08 Aug 2013 11:33 PM
Coldfacts

The expected speed in the race King Kreesa is an extremely interesting gelding. His two starts were in Maiden Claiming races. He won his second start that was on turf and has remained on the surface since.

King Kreesa foaling date was 05/26/2009. He made his 3rd start on May 5, 2012 at 9F and finished second. He recorded his worst finish (10th) on December 1, 2012 after clipping heels and was subsequently put away for four months.

He returned in the one mile Appleton (G3) and set wicked fractions I.e., 22,45,1:08 and weakened to be beaten 2 1/2L in 1:32 and a bit.  His second race back was no different. He contested the 1 1/6 Fort Marcy Stakes and again set fast fractions 23, 45 1:08 and again he weakened to be beaten by 1 1/2L in near record time of 1:38 4/5.

Clearly those were two brutal races for the newly turned 4YO who was off  for 4 months. He won his next two starts at 8F in 1:33 and a bit respectively. This May foal is now a mature 4YO! He is clearly much stronger and capable of recording times in the 1:32 category for a mile.

Wise Dan’s best time for a mile is the 1:31 3/5 recorded on the rock hard speedway at SA. His two 1:34 clocking’s recorded at WO & Keen are his next best. At 6YO can he allow 12lbs to a 4YO who came  within 2L of an 8F race completed in 1:32; and an 8.5F race completed in 1:38 and who then ran 1:33 for 8F twice? The particular 4YO also has a favorable record at Saratoga.

King Kreesa was produced from one of 18 mares bred by millionaire King Cugat in 2008. Can this former claimer have record rags to riches story and take down the 2012 HOY?

If he can carry his speed to a time of 1:32/1:33 he should get the job done. He’s a mature 4YO gelding that should be in his prime.

09 Aug 2013 3:15 AM
Robin Massey

The problem with the English language is it doesn't contain enough superlatives, particularly concerning Wise Dan.  Thanks to his connections, I'll just continue to watch and cheer him on!

09 Aug 2013 7:22 AM
chucky

Wow! Mr. Haskins,

I never thought I would never read these statements from a well known racing personality like yourself. I had to read it a few times just to make sure I read the statements right. It is so honest and so true.

"This is the era of the specialists, and we have seen sprinters like Black Caviar and milers like Frankel become national heroes. The longer Wise Dan’s winning streak continues, the more likely he will join that company"

followed by your response

"I said he was a great horse, but not among the all-time greats."

I would like to follow up and give my opinion but need to gather myself. You caught me off-guard.

Applause and thank you.

09 Aug 2013 10:28 AM
Pedigree Ann

He was also giving Ronny Boy 6 lbs in the Foster, so at level weights he was the best. IMHO, Wise Dan was at the end of his tether when Ron collared him at the wire; he had gone as far as he could handle and was tiring.

He just does not have 10f in him, which is logical, since his grandsire and damsire were both sprinter/milers of accomplishment. Dam's only win was a one-turn mile. Staying sires/mares farther back in the pedigree can occasionally be an influence, but most of the time you get what you breed for and Dan is bred for the miler division.

09 Aug 2013 11:12 AM
steve from st louis

Mort Fink was one of the nicest men I've ever met. He made his money in Chicago in movie theatres and he lost his money at the track. He was a bad handicapper of horses but a good handicapper of people. His good mare Producer, who was trained by Shecky Green's trainer Lou Goldfine, was one of my favorite horses of all time. She was a Group 1 winner in Europe by Nashua and her dosage was one of the best I've ever seen. It was perfectly balanced 10-10-11-9-2. He sold her in foal to Northern Dancer for $5 million or so. He's still betting those dollars every weekend at Arlington or the off-track facility there.

Wise Dan proved Fink to be an overnight sensation 50 years in the making.

09 Aug 2013 11:58 AM
Ranagulzion

Coldfacts,

Nice analysis of King Kreesa's chance ...thanks to you, nobody should be asking who did Wise Dan beat in the 2013 Fourstardave.

Best of luck to you buddy.

09 Aug 2013 1:41 PM
El Kabong

Steve,

I applaud the connections of Wise Dan. They know best, they have brought him this far and have made perfect decisions based around what is best for him. At the Breeders cup last year I hung out at the paddock for most of my time and I can tell you not one horse could stand next to him and not be out done. I compared him to the great sculpture of Discobolus. Rippling and composed and light on his feet. He will always be one of the great ones in my book because I was so close to his massive presence and because of his fighting strength on the oval. For those who say there is nothing to risk, I would challenge you to ask trainers who have tossed their horses into to rings they should never have gone into and listen to the remorse. Horses, even very talented ones like Dan, count on their caretakers to place them into to battles where they can compete. Horses trust us, and we owe it to them to honor that with Wise decisions. Keeping Dan happy is all that would matter to me if I owned him.

On another note,

Stable Boy,

Good luck to you my man, and many thanks for the laughs. Unquestionably you will be missed. Hats off to those wise folks at the U of K who have spotted talent capable of working with anyone, under any circumstances with the experience you received working with Steve and Lenny:)

09 Aug 2013 2:12 PM
Steve Haskin

Chucky, you seem surprised and actually shaken up that my comments rang honest and true. Did I deviate from the norm that much? LOL. I hope you can gather yourself :).

Racingfan, Eclipse Press no longer publishes books, but we no longer work on any projects together anyway, so that would have no bearing on it. After six books, it pretty much ran its course.

09 Aug 2013 2:30 PM
Racingfan

Bummer Steve!  Thanks for the info about Eclipse Press - I did not know that.  Is that why all the books seem to be on clearance at Exclusively Equine?  I have been getting some great deals lately!  I was hoping you could do a book with them of your blogs - along the lines of the Talkin Horses book that I got from them... Oh well....I tried!  LOL  :-)

09 Aug 2013 5:25 PM
ksweatman9

There is certainly nothing wrong with "specialists". Who would ask their family doctor to perform brain surgery on them? Yeah, I love Danny boy. I don't care if he stays on turf or is considered a miler. He looks like a million bucks and he's a winner. That's good enough for me. Besides, I've got a soft spot for those geldings. I was thrilled that he received Horse of the Year honors and I'll keep cheering him on. He's a class act, period.

09 Aug 2013 10:44 PM
Cassandra.Says

El Kabong:

A good thought. I agree. One of the things we owe our horses is to spare them the humiliation of being outclassed in a race where we strongly suspected they didn't belong. A horse like Dan who wants to win so much, hates to lose in a proportionate amount.

10 Aug 2013 12:53 AM
kincsem

Paula Higgins -

Try to be more accurate: Frankel won a Grade 1 mile and a quarter race, my dear.

So much for THAT argument!

10 Aug 2013 2:54 AM
Coldfacts

The great Zenyatta was defeated for the first time at age 6 by the 4YO Blame.

A talented 3YOs that train on as 4YOs tends to take down older rivals.

The great Wise Dan defeated Lea, Optimizer and Data Link in his 3 stats in 2013. He defeated Data Link by 1L. Data Link was nowhere to be found against KK in their last meeting.

WD has won his last 3 starts on yielding turf. KK lost his 2 starts on good turf.  WD therefore has an advantage if the turf is not firm.

If the 2013 starts between the two are compared, the 4YO seems to be in better shape than the 6YO.

Optimizer would have no chance in this race. Data Link did not show up. Lea showed up but he has not been as fast at KK.

If KK does not win he will certainly cost WD the race.

10 Aug 2013 7:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Congratulations to one of my favorites, the great Calvin Borel, certainly derserving of the Hall of Fame. Not only has he won the Derby three times already, over 5k races, rode Rachel to greatness, and other accomplishments, he also cleaned out stalls the morning after winning the Derby despite being hungover or was it because of being hungover? That's neither here nor there. The fact is he did it which is an example of his dedication, character and class. He may not be the raving beauty that Rosie Napravnik is, few are, but he is a tribute to the game and a super human being. Yes sir. Yes sirree Bob.

10 Aug 2013 8:02 AM
smarie

Loved the second to the last sentence of your column, Mr. Haskin. It sums up what we as racing fans can expect when it comes to the careers of racehorses.

I salute Mr. Fink for following his instincts with his horses and I wish him continued success. I will enjoy watching both "Dans" race, no matter where that may be.

10 Aug 2013 11:40 AM
Jil

I don't see anything wrong with specialization, especially if it brings people who normally wouldn't come to the races, just to see a star. We need butts in the grandstand seats. A hard knocker like Wise Dan is the everyman hero, just like Funny Cide was. If staying in his comfort zone keeps him winning races, and if his winning races keeps fans coming to the track, then I don't think it's a bad thing that he isn't tested for true championship. He's got my vote no matter what.

10 Aug 2013 12:30 PM
robinm

I suspect most of us here have our own definition of greatness.

Wise Dan is great at what he does best, but thus far, he has been somewhat of a specialist.

IMO, a truly great horse displays versatility; be it distance, surfaces, tracks and track conditions, trips.  Wise Dan has shown he can travel, he can handle different track conditions and he has persevered when getting the less than perfect trip.  Definitely, he is getting close to my definition of "great".

10 Aug 2013 12:43 PM
SAK MAN

WISE DAN is a great American champion. World class? I wish he would come to Arlington Park on Million Day to challenge other US champions and some classy Europeans too.

10 Aug 2013 1:18 PM
derbylin

I just want to say that I am so happy to hear that Itsmyluckyday is doing well.  Let's hope Normandy Invasion gets his freshening.(?)  I am hoping for some good competition in the 4 yr old ranks next year.

10 Aug 2013 3:27 PM
robinm

Adding to my previous post; how did I forget to mention that great horses are defined by the company they keep and the level of risk taken.

10 Aug 2013 7:11 PM
ksweatman9

The NBC commentator said Wise Dan wouldn't get Horse of the Year again because he isn't being pointed to the BC classic. Really? Well he didn't run in the classic last year either but that didn't stop him from receiving the honors. Suppose he just happens to be the horse who had the best YEAR? Afterall, we don't know who will win the classic, could be a pony with only one big win under his belt. The way I see it, 5 or 6 graded stakes wins trumps 1 or 2, even if one is the BC classic. The classic isn't an automatic nomination for Horse of the Year, ask Zenyatta. I'd love to see Wise Dan run in the classic. I think he would take the 3 year olds to task, but that's not my call. If he wins the BC mile, why is that not good enough? When all is said and done the horse with the best year should be voted Horse of the Year. Once again, that horse may very well be Wise Dan. If the shoe fits, *** well you know the rest of the story.

10 Aug 2013 7:19 PM
Love 'em all

How sweeeeet it is!

Congrats to Wise Dan and JV ... Mr. Fink, Charlie Lopresti, Damien Rock, Kelly Wheeler and all WD's good folks who really do know what's best for him ... and it really shows!  

Sweet dreams tonight, Wise Dan.  We're mighty proud of you.  

10 Aug 2013 8:05 PM
Paula Higgins

kincsem, yes you are right Frankel did a mile and a quarter, twice. But I still wouldn't consider him  to be in Secretariat's or Dr.Fager's league. The majority of his career was at a mile, on grass. He is absolutely a great horse, no discussion. I think Ribot was better. However, since your sign on name is  "kincsem," I won't argue anymore. THAT was a horse for the ages. You picked a truly great name. Steve, you need to do a blog on her :).

10 Aug 2013 11:40 PM
Needler in Virginia

Coldfacts, your mastery of facts is impressive, but I'm REALLY glad I didn't listen to your analysis of who was gonna win the Fourstardave......I'm glad Wise Dan didn't either!

Cheers and safe trips.

11 Aug 2013 12:26 AM
Blum Gone

Funds are needed to rescue TB racehorses from tracks and offer them a safe retirement.    Most of these racehorses are geldings, who, in the eyes of those racing them, have “no other purpose.”

Remember Me Rescue has set up a special fund which will enable them to contact owners and trainers of horses that have earned more than $500,000 and are running for a claiming price of $5000 or less and then offer them retirement, rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming. Please consider a donation in Monzante’s memory, or in the memory or honor of any other horse you love.  

teamkeen.com/monzantememorialfund.html

A couple of TBs’ retirement are currently being negotiated, but funds are needed towards that purpose.  Please feel free to post this request wherever you feel its appropriate.

For the horses!

11 Aug 2013 11:45 AM
Ranagulzion

Coldfacts 10 Aug 2013 7:43 AM

,

Predicting the outcome of the Fourstardave, you touted King Kreesa to blot Wise Dan's 2013 copy book by the hook or the crook - I quote the last line of your post:

"If KK does not win he will certainly cost WD the race ...If KK does not win he will certainly cost WD the race ...If KK does not win he will certainly cost WD the race"

Eat crow!!! and lots of it my friend.  Wise Dan won the race comfortably in 1:34 flat, carrying 129lbs and allowing weight all around ...is he still not a worthy favourite to retain the HOTY crown in your estimation?  Don't bother to reply ...just think honestly about your answer.

Steve,

On reflection, you might want to adjust the title of the blog to: WISE DAN, AN EFFICIENT WINNING MACHINE!

11 Aug 2013 1:43 PM
Windolin

Wise Dan and Johnny V won the race without the lifting of the whip. They were both calm and cool and waited for the opening. You could tell that Wise Dan still had plenty left after crossing the wire. There was a photo taken of him after the race..what a beautiful intelligent eye this horse has. I hope that there are some that are learning that if given time to mature both physically and mentally, many horses can have winning careers long past 3. I for one am becoming a big fan of the turf racing. I will be cheering for Wise Dan for HOY. I think we see in Wise Dan what Secretariat could have accomplished had he not been retired to stud. I do have a question...there are mares that carry foals and still race and stallions in other breeds compete are used as studs at the same time. Why not with the Thoroughbreds?

11 Aug 2013 1:51 PM
smarie

Maybe because he is mainly a turf horse, or maybe because he's not a filly, or maybe because his connections aren't as outspoken as some, for whatever reasons, Wise Dan doesn't seem to stir up the same responses in fans as Zenyatta or Game On Dude or any of racing's recent stars have. It does seem like many fans don't have the same interest in turf racing and it's stars as they do in horses and races that run on dirt.

I was very impressed with Wise Dan's win in the Fourstardave. If he keeps on winning, I cannot see who would be more deserving of being our Horse of the Year for 2013, whether he runs in the BC Classic or not.

Congratulations to Morton Fink, Charles Lopresti and the rest of team Wise Dan. You have a wonderful horse and you certainly know how to manage his career.

11 Aug 2013 2:35 PM
Steve Haskin

Smarie, I have to disagree with you. No one talks about Game On Dude, considering he is unbeaten this year, all stakes. Despite winning the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup, Wise Dan still has three times as many first-place votes in the weekly NTRA poll, and he did even before the Firecracker. Last year, Eclipse voters gave him three awards, including older male over Fort Larned, who had won the BC Classic, Whitney, Cornhusker, and 3rd in the JC Gold Cup. People are in love with Wise Dan, so much so that it was no contest between him and Little Mike and Point of Entry for top grass horse, even though Little Mike won the BC Turf and Arlington Million.

11 Aug 2013 4:09 PM
Owlbet

I just don't get the "love" that people have for Wise Dan.  He can't go to stud, so the best his owners can do is grab the cash.  Sad really.  If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of geldings that race.

11 Aug 2013 7:14 PM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

I touted a former maiden claimer to defeat the HOY. It must be clear that I have no fears regarding the opposition of top horses.

Wise Dan was always the horse to beat. If the connections of horses harbored fear of challenging 2-5 horses, many races would not be filled.

Kindly view the quote below extracted from my initial post:

"If he can carry his speed to a time of 1:32/1:33 he should get the job done."

KK did not carry his speed to any of the two times cited above but ran creditably.

KK has never won on a turf not listed as firm.

Needler in Virginia,

You do realize that this is not a forum in which view are verbalized. You therefore did not have an opportunity to listen to my views, you merely read them.

I do not recall seeing your post supporting Wise Dan prior to the race.

In sport that involves tiny humans armed with whips on the backs of 1.000lbs animals, strange things can occur.  

A horse is as good as its last race and past performances do not guarantee for future success.

Enjoy WD's victory without trying to ridiculed those who choose to oppose him.

11 Aug 2013 10:10 PM
tommyboyo

Not sure if you are aware of this, but your turf Grade 1's are fairly woeful compared to the rest of the world.  Just look at some of the European horses who have shipped out and won them, they were hardly the cream of the crop back home.  Wise Dan is a very good horse no doubt, but not a 'great' as some seem to be suggesting and to compare him to the likes of Frankel and Black Caviar is quite honestly embarrassing.

12 Aug 2013 8:55 AM
tommyboyo

To put some perspective on it, Frankel twice achieved ratings of 143.  Black Caviar's best was 133 and she topped 130 on eight occasions.  Wise Dan's best figure is 128, placing him 5lbs behind BC and 15lbs (that equates to about 30 lengths in a race) behind Frankel.  These are objective ratings based on weights/measures, NOT subjective opinions.

12 Aug 2013 9:04 AM
Coldfacts

Owlbet,

"I'm not a fan of geldings that race"

You are ultra funny. Are you a fan of geldings that do not race?

Do you have issues with Ridglings that race?

Horses are gelded for various reasons. The only problem I have with the gelding procedure relates to timing. A gelded horse losses its testosterone producing agents. I am of the opinion if a horse is not at a stage of development physically, being gelded could hamper said growth and development.

There are synthetic forms of testosterone that can be used to compensate for the loss tentacle function.

12 Aug 2013 9:40 AM
Signal

If WD runs against GOD in the Breeders's cup classic, he' ll still running while GOD already head back to the barn.

Let's walk the talk.

12 Aug 2013 11:52 AM
ksweatman9

Tommyboyo, You must be British. Seems you had to take a jab at two wonderful champions in order to make the point that Frankel was a great horse. Quite tacky and not sportsman like in my opinion. Horses prove themselves in the flesh on the track, not by numbers. A string of 25 consecutive wins is something Frankel didn't come close to. How can anyone be so sure he would've prevailed at such a feat? Fact is, you can't, and Black Caviar did. As for Wise Dan, you are the only one comparing him to Frankel. Anyway, send your ponies from across the pond to the Breeder's Cup and let's see if Wise Dan's slow time form can leave them eating his dust.

12 Aug 2013 12:19 PM
tommyboyo

I am, but my job is to follow and report on US racing, which I love, so no bias whatsoever from me.  Why doesn't Wise Dan come to Europe then and run in some proper turf races?  I guess it doesn't work like that in your book though.  That's what makes me laugh sometimes, that you guys think that you ever see the best of our runners, when they have to ship and acclimatise in quick time at the end of long hard European seasons.

12 Aug 2013 2:05 PM
tommyboyo

Also, zipping round the tight mile turf track at Santa Anita is hardly conducive to dominant, or even truly representative performances.  Would have been nice to see Wise Dan come over and run in the Sussex or the Marois.  Could still come for the Moulin or the QEII though.  There are also some top turf races over a mile in Hong Kong & Japan in the fall.  Both offer excellent prize money and good opposition, so why not run in one of those?

12 Aug 2013 2:10 PM
tommyboyo

And I am not trying to denigrate Black Caviar in any way shape or form.  A truly wonderful Mare and a career record to rival any.  Probably my all time favourite horse.

12 Aug 2013 2:13 PM
Ranagulzion

Signal,

Game On Dude was clobbered by Dullahan in the Pacific Classic last year. Lets see if he can turn the tables on that one in this year's renewal of the PC before you start trying to pit him against the reigning HOTY. Lets see if your talk has any walk first ...Dullahan is coming to shut you up as far as I can see.

12 Aug 2013 2:44 PM
chucky

Tommyboyo, Yes Wise Dan and Frankel are comparable, both are basically milers and both beat Excelebration.

and lastly, there is nothing objective about those ratings. To say that you can compare horses in different generations and eras is foolish let alone downgrading Dancing Brave 12 furlongs race at the tough Longchamp course to boost Frankel's 8 furlongs race at basically straightaway racecourse is ridiculous.

12 Aug 2013 3:01 PM
Ranagulzion

tommyboyo 12 Aug 2013 8:55 AM,

You wrote of Wise Dan, that to "compare him to the likes of Frankel and Black Caviar is quite honestly embarrassing".  Are you for real "Boyo"?  Did you see how Wise Dan put away Frankel's whipping horse, Excelebration in last year's Breeder's Cup Mile? I regard myself as a connoisseur of thoroughbred racing, of both the European and American variety and I put it to you right now that Wise Dan is the top turf miler ON THE PLANET "Boyo" ...yes sir, on the planet!!!

Owlbet,

For your sake I'm glad that Wise Dan is a gelding in America so that you can appreciate his quality over the period of a few racing seasons. It is my wish that his connections would ship him across the pond to silence all the Euro-doubters ...although Fink & LoPresti are not obliged to do so since Frankel's connections didn't think they needed to, even to go to the 2012 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.  

12 Aug 2013 3:11 PM
Signal

Rana,

If your hype horse enter BC Clasic

GOD will chew him up and spit it out at the top of the lane.

and I am walk the talk,because my offer to you still stand.

This HOY does not scare me one bit.

12 Aug 2013 7:11 PM
Owlbet

Nah, you're the one that's ultra-funny.  Horses have four legs and octopi have eight.  You've mixed up your equine and octopus body parts.  Tentacles are the "arms" of an octopus; testicles are the equine reproductive parts responsible for making testosterone.

A little biology lesson is in order!

I don't have to explain why I don't care for geldings that race.  But if you must know, it's because they win, win impressively, win fan's hearts (I'm a fan of Wise Dan even though he's a gelding), run more races than an intact horse, and then trot off into the sunset to leave nothing behind other than a legacy on the track.  Worse case scenario they end up in slaughterhouses.  Gelded horses leave me wanting more and that something more is progeny.  They can't breed.  Geldings limit my rooting power.  I may not like it, but geldings will continue to race.  

As for ridglings, some are able to breed.  A P Indy is probably the most famous ridgling of them all.

13 Aug 2013 12:22 AM
tommyboyo

He may well me the best turf miler around at the moment.  Last years form would suggest that he is right up there.  Fact is though, to prove it he would have to be beating more than King Kreesa/Lea/Optimizer.  

Regarding your use of one Excelebration run as a form guide, behave!  How about we use Animal Kingdom's one run at Royal Ascot as a form guide then?  He was beaten 11.5L by Declaration of War in that race and only 1.5L by Wise Dan at Santa Anita last Fall.  If we are suggesting that this is an accurate representation of from (which I am not) then he is well behind a lot of the Euro' milers.  

13 Aug 2013 4:44 AM
tommyboyo

He may well me the best turf miler around at the moment.  Last years form would suggest that he is right up there.  Fact is though, to prove it he would have to be beating more than King Kreesa/Lea/Optimizer.  

Regarding your use of one Excelebration run as a form guide, behave!  How about we use Animal Kingdom's one run at Royal Ascot as a form guide then?  He was beaten 11.5L by Declaration of War in that race and only 1.5L by Wise Dan at Santa Anita last Fall.  If we are suggesting that this is an accurate representation of from (which I am not) then he is well behind a lot of the Euro' milers.  

13 Aug 2013 4:45 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Frankly, Wise Dan is underrated, and would have beaten Frankel at a mile on the turf over here if given the chance. Over there, Frankel would have won. I encourage the Euros to bring their best over to the Breeder's Cup Turf Mile this year. Wise Dan needs some competition. The Euros will lose but I want Wise Dan to be pushed a little more so he can set the world record time for the turf mile. He is a phenominal powerhouse, cruising through these wins the last few years and we have yet to see his best. Without an extraordinarily troubled trip in this year's BC you will see something spectacular. So far I don't see anyone else that can beat him out for a HOY repeat although there is plenty of time left for someone to step up. The advantage with the voters always goes to the 9f-10f dirt horses for HOY but there still has to be a standout.

13 Aug 2013 10:03 AM
tommyboyo

re: Dr Drunkinbum

Chuckle, chuckle.

Nice effort at trolling.

13 Aug 2013 3:08 PM
Coldfacts

Owlbet,

No biology lesson needed it was  an obvious error. I selected the wrong from spell check. I need to pay more attention to editing before I hit the submit option.

There was a brilliant horse in Jamaica by the name The Viceroy. He twisted his testicles and there was no option but to geld him to save his life. Two week after the procedure he won the Two Guineas. He went on to win the Jamaican Triple Crown.

There was another brilliant horse by the Legal Light. Both his dam and sire were from England. He was a magnificent looking chestnut standing at 17 hands. He just would not train and tried to kill all his handlers. He was gelded. He won eight race in row twice. He was a accustom to carrying 133lbs to his opponents 90lbs.

I understand your point but unfortunately sometimes the  procedure is unavoidable.

13 Aug 2013 9:16 PM
chucky

Mr. Haskins,

Since my opinion is so unpopular, I waited a bit to follow up.

But in a nutshell, the biggest reason (there are others) why this industry continue to decline is because of the breeding.

When I was a teen in the 70s, it was common to see the great prestigious races headlined in the media, via sports pages and on television. The Big Cap, Pacific Classic, Triple Crown races, Travers, all the way to the handicap triple, JCGC Arlington Million, Marboro Cup triple tiara...etc etc.

Now the only hype we get is the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont if KD winner also wins the Preakness. We also have the Breeders Cup but this event is also losing popularity and with the Irish, British putting up their own end of year events coupled with the Arc weekend, what does the future holds?

With the lost of importance and prestige of our year long events and it's disappearance from the headlines, the recruitment of new fans and eventually their conversion as customers (bettors) have suffered.

Less and less customers meant a losing business.

Double whammy! with the breeding for frail speed with less stamina, the prestigious events which requires thoroughbreds to go 10 furlongs or further died. The frail now requires more medications just to run the few races they are capable of and the potential stars that can basically run just a mile disappeared after a few races because of the breeding shed or injury.

When this racing industry was still up there, the breeding was always for the triple crown. It was towards breeding the classic distance horses. That is what a thoroughbred is all about. Speed, stamina, strength, agility and durability. The durability was the first to be ignored for the breeding shed but at least we still bred for the classics.

Those days are gone now and I do not think we can recover from that failed policy.

When you stated that Black Caviar and Frankel as specialist and specially Frankel as a miler, I would bet my last dollar you were the only industry personality who have publicly stated that. When Frankel was winning all those mile races, he was always been compared to the Ribot, Sea The Stars, Sea Bird. I don't think Frankel was once compared to the great miler Goldikova and then of course the "official" rating that his 8 furlongs at QA was better than Dancing Brave's 12 furlongs Arc. IMO strongest opinion a wild stretch of anybody's imagination. To the great Sir Henry Cecil, he never got on that bandwagon. Wonder if has anything to do with the British new Champions day where their premier race is 10 furlongs.

As for me, when Black Caviar and Frankel were winning, Saint Nicholas Abbey and Orfevre were the best thoroughbreds running. Breeding horses away from the Melbourne Cup, King George VI, Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, Arc de Triomphe where a horse proves that he or she is now a bonafide thoroughbred is very short sighted.

There was no doubt in my mind that Frankel would still have won europes hoy even if Camelot won the triple. The push towards breeding for the shorter distances, fast horses is the goal. I guess they still not learning from us.

Not saying we would be where we were a few decades ago but imo we would be better off and in much better position.

At least the Germans and Japanese know what thoroughbred racing and breeding is all about. It is toward the Ribot and Secretariat, not towards the Dash for Cash.

I could go on and on...yes this is still a business and it's main attraction is thoroughbred racing, not breeding. Being short-sighted in more ways than one is the reason why we are where we are today.

Thank you.

02 Sep 2013 1:04 PM

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