Horse Racing Passion Blog
Horse Racing Passion Blog
Horse Racing Passion Blog

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Living legend Wise Dan, has been retired, due to a career ending tendon injury

wise dan

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.”


Kudos and high honors to “American Pharoah” for conquering the unbelievable task of becoming the 12th Triple Crown Champion !



For all of you that have follow my blog, you all know that I was against AP in all three races of the TC, I wanted to write this post with a really cold mind and post Belmont euphoria, because I truly believe in two things.

One, I really think that besides de Derby, he got in some way lucky, first the rain depleted the competition in the Preakness and in the Belmont is almost unbelievable that he got away with such soft fractions 24, 48, 73 2/5 I bet not even Bob Baffert could believe was happening, horses like Materiality that according to Todd Pletcher himself said that would make sure that the race had an honest pace, he never showed up, he sat behind AP and never pressured at any point, I believe Victor Espinoza never in his wildest dreams imagined that something like that could have even happened, but it did and gave AP a dream trip, a soft an easy pace that nobody in his right mind would have ever imagined.

Having said that, the second thing I truly believe in is that no matter how it happened, winning the Triple Crown is such an inconceivable feat to achieve, that deserves the highest recognition and is a moment in history that will always be remembered with unsurpassable joy.

My all time idol is Secretariat, but I was only 5 years old when he won the TC and 10 when Affirmed won his, I was not a fan of the sport I lived in Venezuela and at the time the instantaneity of the news did not exist, internet as we know it today did not exist, so it was many years later when watching the replays when I got to appreciate the greatness of those two champions and the greatness of all the great champions of all times.

So even though I always thought that AP was vulnerable coming into the Belmont Stakes, in my horse racing passionate for the sport heart, I was rooting for him to win so I could finally witness in full consciousness that almost unbelievable feat being conquered, and that is an emotion that will stay with me forever, watching American Pharoah pulling away in the stretch and becoming, after 37 years of a very painful drought, the 12th Triple Crown Champion !

For a brief moment Horse Racing reunited America and horse racing fans from all over the world, the moment when American Pharoah entered the stretch, he was not alone, he had millions of people riding him to immortality, and it was in that particular and magical moment, that from the horse racing heaven, Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, all looked down and gave the warmest and joyous welcome to the new and now only living member of the very elite and most prestigious Triple Crown Champion Club, American Pharoah.-



Here’s the historic video of that magical afternoon at Belmont Park, the day that the fans could not stop cheering and screaming ! Kudos, high honors and long live the reigning Pharoah !

Who will win the #BelmontStakes and most important, why AP will likely not !

preakness rain

A very wicked electrical storm depleted American Pharoah’s field in the Preakness, AP was not the only rival that blew away the other 7 contenders on Preakness day, an almost supernatural storm that struck Pimlico just before the horses hit the track and ended just after the gates opened was in my opinion decisive for the final outcome of the race, and without it, I’m not so sure that AP would have gone to win the race the way he did, horses like Fire Line and Dortmund would have ran much better races and did not move a bit on the off track.

I know AP has proven to be a very good colt, but I can’t stop asking myself the question of what would the outcome have been if it didn’t rained that day?, no one could answer that with certainty, but with certainty Firing Line would not have finished last after a skidding in the mud when the bell rang, probably Dortmund would have ran a better race too, who knows.

Having said that, I believe that AP is very vulnerable coming into this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, and if we have a dry track like we probably will, in my opinion, it will be very unlikely for him to win and here is why.

AP won the Derby after being whipped more than 30 times!, fuuuuuully extended and just barely passed Firing Line at the final half furlong, then in the Preakness the rain did most of the damage depleting the whole field, reason why  I will toss that victory, because it’s not fair to judge it due to the fact that the horses that really posed a big threat to him, could not run on an off track at all.

Saturday he will face very tough and fresh competitors, Materiality has stamina to run all day long and do so very fast too, if he repeats his Florida Derby run, he may very well give the race a very honest pace and wear down AP, also his Derby run was one of the best races in defeat, this horse can really run and can very well cross the finish line in first place I’m very glad that he skipped the Preakness and he can’t be better prepared for saturday’s Belmont by one of the best trainers in the history of this race Mr.Todd Pletcher.

We also have a remarkable group of horses that are very able of coming from off the pace, like Mubtaahij, the winner of the UAE Derby he`s much more better prepared to run this this time, has settle super well in the USA, ran a Kentucky Derby with many obstacles to overcome, the long trip, the groom not coming, the food mix prohibited, and he was banged up during the beginning of the race and even with all those obstacles, he managed to finish only 9 lengths from AP, on Saturday the pace will favor him and he will not run into any traffic, the son of Dubawi is built to run all day and trainer Mike de Kock did not leave him in the USA for nothing, he stayed to redeem himself and all his wonderful crew too. Frosted is another very tough contender trainer Kiaran McLaughlin transformed this horse after the minor throat procedure and adding blinkers, he has this horse more than ready to kill, you can see his hidden smile in every interview he gives, the horse could not be fitter and could not be better trained for the race, he could very well be the spoiler Saturday afternoon.

My 2015 Belmont Stakes picks are :






Why will Firing Line win this Saturday the 2015 Preakness Stakes … #Preakness #PreaknessStakes #Preakness2015 #Pimlico

Firing Line

Firing Line

To keep it simple, drew the absolute best post position in the field, will benefit from the battle of the Baffert trainees plus a little help from Mr.Z this time, he will run 4 to 8 lengths from lead on Saturday and on the turn if he makes the lead change this time, they won’t see him coming and he will crush the field of the Preakness with authority.




Breaks from post No.2, he will get his revenge from American Pharoah, the racing gods might be watching over Baffert and have Dortmund break strongly to the inside after the gate opens, karma always awaits it’s revenge, and Shared Belief will be watching comfortably from his stable this time around, who knows that could happen right? or maybe not, what’s true though is, that he breaks a little better that his stable mate at post No.2, and if AP literally “blinks” Dortmund will have the advantage positioning himself in an uncompromised trip. Better physically this time around, he will not be beat by American Pharoah this Saturday.

American Pharoah

American Pharoah

He won after being whipped more than 27 times !, fuuuully extended and barely passed Firing Line at the final half furlong, he will pay for that effort on Saturday. Above that, he breaks from post 1, the slightest mistake and he will be in deep waters and to avoid deep waters he will have to put a little extra to get out of the hole quick and could pay for that effort later. In the Derby was the first time that he was truly asked and two weeks is no time for true recovery after the Derby effort, if he does win, it will be mind blowing, but it will be very unlikely in my opinion.

From this final 4 horses, the @KyDerby @KentuckyDerby winner will emerge @Mubtaahij



Many have underestimated him for many reasons, he’s traveled half way around the world to get here, his original food mixture could not be flown in due to FDA regulations, and finally the most talked about argument is his “apparent slow fractions and final times” in his races in Dubai and most recent race, winning the UAE Derby, he was giving a 97 Beyer figure, BUT here lies the rub. Meydan’s fractions and those posted at tracks in the United States are not measured equally. In North America, the teletimer does not automatically begin once the horses break from the gate. There is a run-up to the start of the clock. At Meydan, the time begins when the gate opens. If calculated correctly, he would have a Beyer figure way up in the hundreds and that’s a whole different picture !, also if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place. Now that’s a stat to respect.


2American Pharoah

American Pharoah

Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.


3Firing Line

Firing Line

He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.




After champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin made the right corrections to the horse, having a minor throat surgery performed to make sure the colt wasn’t flipping his palate, added blinkers, and subtracted one jockey, switching from Irad Ortiz to Joel Rosario, this colt just exploded in the Wood Memorial, he came from off the pace and past everyone so easily that he seems to have transformed himself. Giving the fast pace that should develop during the race, his racing style fits perfectly to be one of the fastest running in the final furlong.


NOTE: And for those of you, that keep asking me about Dortmund, I just didn’t like the way I saw him being “all out” beat nobody in the Santa Anita Derby. He is special, but I’m convinced that he does not have what it takes to win the Derby.