Horses

Lopresti goes for Woodbine Mile repeat with Wise Dan

Wise Dan with John Velazquez up wins the 2012 Ben Ali (Grade III) trained by Charles Lopresti and owned by Morton Fink 2012 Keeneland Spring Meet
Wise Dan with John Velazquez up wins the 2012 Ben Ali (Grade III) trained by Charles Lopresti and owned by Morton Fink 2012 Keeneland Spring Meet Keeneland Photo/CS

Keeneland-based trainer Charlie Lopresti is ready for another go at the Woodbine Mile.

Lopresti, who won the Grade I, $1 million race with Turallure last year, has the favorite in this year's edition at the Toronto racetrack.

Wise Dan was installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite on Thursday for Sunday's 16th running of the Woodbine Mile on the turf.

Sunday's winner earns an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

The 5-year-old Wise Dan comes to Woodbine off a 5-length win in the Grade II Fourstardave Stakes at Saratoga over 1 mile on Aug. 11.

In his only other starts this year, the gelded son of Wiseman's Ferry won Keeneland's Ben Ali Stakes at 11⁄8 miles on April 22 and finished second by a head to Ron the Greek in Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster Stakes at 11⁄8 miles on June 16.

Wise Dan will run from post-position No. 3 with John Velazquez aboard for owner Morton Fink. Velazquez has won the Woodbine Mile twice — with Riviera in 2000 and Leroidesanimaux in 2005.

"It's OK by me," Lopresti said of the post position. "He just won from the one-hole at Saratoga. If it was a great big field I might worry about it. I'm glad we didn't get the one-hole and I wouldn't want to be all the way on the outside either. I'm happy with it. Johnny (Velazquez) said to me when you get that horse covered up, he's a lot better and he relaxes. He did a good job with him the last time."

Three challengers from Europe have shipped to Woodbine for the Mile — Cityscape (5-2), Dance And Dance (12-1) and Worthadd (9-1).

Cityscape, a 6-year-old Juddmonte British homebred, won the Group 1, $5 million Dubai Duty Free at 11⁄8 miles on March 31. He is the leading money winner in Sunday's field with six wins in 20 outings and career earnings of $4,206,935.

"He shipped really good," said John Da Costa, assistant trainer for Roger Charlton. "He's moving great. We know Wise Dan is a wonderful horse. We really respect him. It's going to be a tough race. But our fellow is good right now."

Trainer Dan Vella's 5-year-old Big Band Sound (6-1) also bears watching, having won the 7-furlong Play the King Stakes at Woodbine on Aug. 26.

The rest of the nine-horse field includes Riding the River (10-1), Hunters Bay (15-1), Artic Fern (20-1) and Hollinger (20-1).

Rahystrada favoredin Turf Cup

Rahystrada is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup, the signature race of the Kentucky Downs meet.

Owned by Robert E. Courtney Jr., Rahystrada is seeking a repeat of last year's Turf Cup victory.

The $200,000 race includes seven challengers for Rahystrada, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Arlington Million last month.

Ioya Bigtime is the 5-2 second choice in the 11/2-mile test, with Kindergarden Kid at 9-2. The rest of the field is Tahoe Lake (6-1), Lake Drop (8-1), Cozy Kitten (12-1), Canaveral (20-1) and Rezif (20-1).

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