From a Breeders’ Cup release
Morton Fink, owner of Wise Dan, the two-time defending Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) winner and reigning two-time Horse of the Year, informed Breeders’ Cup officials on Monday morning that Wise Dan has developed a non-displaced fracture at the bottom of the cannon bone of the right front fetlock that will prevent him from seeking a third Breeders’ Cup Mile title on November 1 at Santa Anita Park at the 31st Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
MR. FINK’S STATEMENT:
“As you know, Wise Dan has been preparing to run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
He was scheduled to breeze in a few days and Charlie [trainer Charles LoPresti] checked him over to be sure he was 100%. Unfortunately, Charlie noticed some swelling in his ankle and quickly decided to X-ray him to be sure everything was alright. The X-rays identified a non-displaced ‘half-moon shaped’ fracture of the bottom of the cannon bone in the RF [right front] fetlock. This likely occurred in his victory in the Shadwell [Turf] Mile.
“As a result, we have decided to withdraw him from the Breeders’ Cup to allow the fracture to heal. Wise Dan has accomplished a lot in his career so far, and given us endless joy. We would never want to race him unless he is 100%. We thank Charlie and Amy [LoPresti] and their staff for everything they have done to get the horse where he is, and for being so conscientious that a little swelling was not overlooked.
Charlie has had tough decisions to make and we are very grateful that he made them in the best interest of Wise Dan. Dr. [Larry] Bramlage recommends that we wait at least 30 days and assess his progress before we make any further decisions. He is seven-years-old, with 30 starts in his career so we’ll let him show us what to do next.”
A 7-year-old son of Wiseman’s Ferry, Wise Dan added to his enormous stature this year with a perfect 4-for-4 campaign that was interrupted by colic surgery but resumed without a hitch during the second half of the season. Wise Dan won Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile (GI) in April and Churchill Downs’ Turf Classic (GI) in May before undergoing emergency colic surgery in May but hadn’t missed a beat since returning. He won his comeback in Saratoga’s Bernard Baruch (GII) in August then earned an automatic Mile berth in Keeneland’s “Win and You’re In” Shadwell Turf Mile (GI) October 4. Wise Dan is a remarkable 23-for-31 lifetime, with 11 grade I win and over $7.5 million in earnings.
“We won’t decide if he will return to training until we see if he heals perfectly because he has nothing left to prove,” Fink continued. “This is not a fracture that can be helped with surgery; he has to heal it on his own. We would like to thank everyone for their support and best wishes. Wise Dan is a very special horse to us and to the racing community.”
“We are very disappointed with the news this morning from Morton Fink that Wise Dan will not be able to defend his title before his many devoted fans at this year’s Breeders’ Cup,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “Over the course of his brilliant career, Wise Dan has demonstrated extraordinary prowess, grit and determination on the racetrack as a two-time Breeders’ Cup champion and Horse of the Year. Morton Fink and Charlie LoPresti have campaigned a terrific racehorse, and all of us at the Breeders’ Cup wish Wise Dan a speedy recovery.”