Wise Dan back on top in Thoroughbred Poll
08/04/2014 3:04 PM
08/04/2014 3:17 PM
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan hasn't raced in three months, but was able to ascend to the top of the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll due to an unforetold result at Saratoga last Saturday.
Wise Dan, trained by Charlie LoPresti, regained first place in the rankings based on Palace Malice's off-the-board finish in the $1.5 million Whitney Handicap. Palace Malice failed to fire down the stretch and finished sixth behind 10-1 longshot Moreno in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney.
Owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan garnered 24 top votes, an increase of 19 from a week ago, to move to the top spot with 368 points. The 7-year-old gelding is likely to return to the races on Aug. 30 at Saratoga in either the 1 1/16- mile, $250,000 Bernard Baruch on grass or the 1 1/8-mile, $600,000 Woodward on the dirt.
"I've got two options. If he keeps going the right way, he'll either run in the Baruch or the Woodward, and I like what I saw today (Saturday) on the dirt. I wouldn't rule (the Woodward) out," LoPresti said.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome is second with seven first-place votes and 312 points. The 3-year-old colt is training at Los Alamitos Race Course where he had an unregistered workout last Friday.
"It wasn't a registered work. I just wanted to open up his lungs and stretch his legs a little bit, He looks great. We're back in action," trainer Art Sherman said.
Palace Malice, who was undefeated in his first four starts this season, dropped to third with eight top votes and 305 points.
"It is a head-scratcher. Sometimes they throw in a dud, and right now it looks like that's what he did," trainer Todd Pletcher said the day after the Whitney. "We'll have to continue to check him over and see, but right now we'll just try again."
Close Hatches remains the leading female thoroughbred with the last first- place vote and 228 points to keep her position in fourth-place.
The next three spots in the poll are unchanged from last week. Game On Dude has 132 points followed by Haskell winner Bayern (129) and Eclipse Award champion Shared Belief (107).
Jumping into the poll in eighth place is Whitney winner Moreno. The 4-year-old gelding, trained by Eric Guillot for Southern Equine Stable, received 94 points off his 1 1/4-length victory over Itsmyluckyday and last year's champion 3-year-old colt Will Take Charge, who edged Moreno by a nose to win the 2013 Travers.
"We'll look at the Woodward or maybe give him a break and point to the Jockey Club Gold Cup (on Sept. 27 at Belmont)," Guillot said about Moreno's next start. "It's a million-dollar race at 1 1/4 miles; he ran huge in the Suburban. From the 11 hole those fractions were very fast. I think 1 1/4 miles is his best distance."
Jim Dandy champ Wicked Strong is ninth with 85 points and leading 3-year-old filly Untapable completes the top 10 with 70 points.
The National Poll continues through the Breeders' Cup on Nov. 1.