Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital has announced that two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will be presented with its inaugural Comeback Award during Hats Off Day on July 30 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Rood & Riddle Comeback Award is given to an equine athlete who overcame a major health complication and returned to elite competition. Wise Dan, who retired last September due to a tendon injury, successfully returned to competition in 2014 after undergoing emergency colic surgery.
The Wiseman’s Ferry gelding made two starts after his colic surgery, winning the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga in August 2014 and taking the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland that October.
Owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan was cared for throughout his career by Rood & Riddle veterinarians, primarily Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, who looked after his orthopedic needs, and Scott Hopper, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS who performed the colic surgery in 2014.
“Wise Dan exemplifies the characteristics of an outstanding athlete who suffered a major health issue and returned to compete successfully,” said Tom Riddle, DVM.
Added trainer Charlie LoPresti, who conditioned Wise Dan throughout his career, “Wise Dan is a remarkable athlete and we are excited for him to receive this award. For him to recover from major surgery and come back to the level of competition he did and in such a short time is truly remarkable. Rood & Riddle played a large part in Wise Dan’s success, specifically Drs. Bramlage and Hopper. We are thankful to the entire Rood & Riddle team.”
The Rood & Riddle Comeback Award will be part of the opening ceremonies for the Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix. Prior to the trophy presentation, Wise Dan will make an appearance in the Rolex Stadium. Surgeons who previously provided care for Wise Dan, Drs. Larry Bramlage and Scott Hopper, will present the award to Charlie and Amy LoPresti.
A six-time Eclipse Award winner, Wise Dan was named Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013 having captured the Breeders’ Cup Mile in each of those seasons. The chestnut gelding retired with 23 wins from 31 starts and $7,552,920 in earnings. He resides on Charlie and Amy LoPresti’s Lexington-based farm alongside his half brother, graded stakes winner Successful Dan.