Wise Dan 'back to his old self' after colic surgery

awincze@herald-leader.comMay 17, 2014 

John Velasquez slowed Wise Dan after winning the Maker's 46 Mile (Grade I) at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on April 11, 2014. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

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Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan came through the night "absolutely great," trainer Charlie LoPresti said, after the champion gelding underwent emergency colic surgery at Lexington's Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Friday.

Wise Dan was taken to Rood & Riddle on Friday after showing signs of distress about an hour after he had a routine gallop at Keeneland. Dr. Scott Hopper performed the surgery to repair of piece of the small intestine that had flipped.

"Dr. Hopper said he's been absolutely great all through the night, he's been pounding his hay net and they're going to start feeding him a little bit," LoPresti said Saturday morning. "They said he's really great, he's back to his old self.

"I can tell you when I saw him last night, if I didn't know he'd had colic surgery, I would have never known it. As long as he doesn't have a recurrence, he'll be all right. But they're going to start feeding him and if everything went right, he should be back to me in 4-5 days."

LoPresti said they did not have to resect any portion of the bowel and that the surgery "was pretty straightforward as far as colic goes." He also reiterated that Morton Fink's homebred gelding should be able to return to racing after getting six to eight weeks off to recover.

Wise Dan might recover at LoPresti's Keeneland-based barn once he is discharged from Rood & Riddle but his trainer is also mulling having him rehabilitate at his Lexington-based farm.

"Where we'll take him, I don't know. I actually set up a little place behind my indoor arena, a little round corral that is like a third of an acre where he could go out and eat grass," LoPresti said. "But I need to let them tell me if he needs to hand graze or what they want to do with him. If they want him hand grazed, I could keep him at Keeneland, but I'll let them tell me."

A six-time Eclipse Award winner, Wise Dan most recently won the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic by a nose at Churchill Downs on May 3 after opening his 2014 campaign with a victory in the Grade I Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland in April.

A two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile, Wise Dan has won 21 of 29 career starts, including 10 Grade I triumphs, and amassed career earnings of $6,802,920.

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

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