Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, two-time Horse of the Year, has been retired after trainer Charles LoPresti noticed some filling in a tendon the morning of Sept. 7.
The gelding had been slated to make his return from an ankle injury in the grade I, $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Sunday, Sept. 13, at Woodbine.
“He’d been training lights out. But, we noticed some filling in his tendon this morning when we were giving him a bath,” said LoPresti. “The vet suggested we scan it and it turns out he has a tear on the outside edge of his tendon.
Wise Dan, an 8-year-old son of Wiseman’s Ferry, had not raced since the ankle injury was detected following his victory in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) atKeeneland last October. He retires with a record of 23 wins and two seconds from 31 starts, and earnings of $7,552,920.
The old warrior won the Woodbine Mile in both of his Horse of the Year campaigns in 2012 and 2013 and he holds the course record of 1:31.75 for his impressive performance in the 2013 Woodbine Mile. He was also voted U.S. champion turf male horse champion older male both years.
“Mr. Fink and I talked about it and we’ve all decided he should be retired at this age. There’s no point trying to bring him back again,” said LoPresti. “I expect he’ll retire to our farm here in Kentucky. He’ll be turned out with his brother Successful Dan.”
The tendon tear was not related to the ankle injury discovered following his victory in the Shadwell Turf Mile.
“He has a perfect ankle now. We’ve radiographed it many times to be sure and there’s not even a hint of an issue with the ankle,” said LoPresti. “We’re not sure how it happened. We were four days away from shipping up to Woodbine and he had trained like a monster this morning. He never took a bad step, it was just something I noticed while giving him a bath.
“We were trying to get to the Breeders’ Cup and we thought Woodbine was the perfect place to get started. We were so excited about coming, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
“While we’re disappointed to hear the news regarding Wise Dan’s retirement, I know the connections have made the right decision by the horse,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, in a statement. “We wish Wise Dan all the best in his retirement and we’re thankful for the thrills he provided Canadian racing fans with his wins in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile.”