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Wise Dan prevails in Breeders' Cup Mile

Updated: Sunday, 03 Nov 2013 11:12 | Comments

Wise Dan won the Breeders' Cup Mile
Wise Dan won the Breeders' Cup Mile

American superstar Wise Dan won his second Breeders' Cup Mile in brave fashion at Santa Anita.

European raiders Olympic Glory and Aidan O'Brien's Cristoforo Colombo finished out of the frame in a race run at a furious early pace set by Obviously.

Despite being further back than is usually the case after stumbling on leaving the stalls, Wise Dan had enough class to recover and make smooth progress on the turn, and after turning into the stretch in fifth he stayed on relentlessly to take top honours from Za Approval.

The Charlie LoPresti-trainer winner was ridden by Jose Lezcano, standing in for Johnny Velazquez, who suffered a bad fall at the start of the card and was subsequently taken to hospital.

Having initially looked as though he had suffered minor injuries, it later emerged he needed surgery to have his spleen removed.

LoPresti, who had seen Wise Dan surprisingly beaten last time out in the Shadwell Turf Mile which ended up being run on a synthetic surface, said: "If anyone thought this horse had lost a step, I'm sorry for them.

"I want to say one thing - this one is for John Velazquez, I'm so sorry that he got hurt today. He wanted so much to ride this horse, but we had all the confidence in the world in Jose.

"He stumbled badly out of the gate and he said 'I had to go Plan B, boss' and I said 'well Plan B worked, as long as we got to the winner's circle'.

"He's a very special horse, I'm sorry he got beat at Keeneland, he was just a victim of circumstance, but he's proved he's the best today."

Rider Richard Hughes said of Richard Hannon's QEII winner Olympic Glory: "I couldn't manage to fill him up and go again when the pace quickened, but then he did run on.

"I was going as fast as I could most of the race and I would say he needs a mile and a quarter on ground as good as that. Maybe it was just a bit quick for him."

Cristoforo Colombo was virtually tailed off in the early stages before making late progress.

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