Wise Dan a winner again
Wise Dan took his seventh Grade One prize in effortless fashion when winning the Ricoh Woodbine Mile without breaking sweat.
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The multiple Eclipse Award winner and reigning Horse Of The Year in North America will now head to the Breeders' Cup Mile in a bid to defend his crown against a European raiding party that could include Moonlight Cloud and Toronado.
Wise Dan moved to the front early in the home straight with jockey John Velazquez doing nothing other than looking over both shoulders and sauntered to victory from Za Approval.
Remarkably, despite the fact that his jockey all but anchored him in the closing stages, Wise Dan still managed to set a new track record in the process.
British raider Trade Storm, trained by David Simcock in Newmarket, was held up well in rear by Gary Stevens and did well to close up for third place, but he would never have threatened the winner and $100,000 in prize money will at least have more than covered the airfare.
"The only thing that I was kind of concerned with was I think I did a little too much with him in the pre-parade and he went a bit quiet," said Velazquez of the winner.
"I dropped him in behind two horses and he got rank with me and I thought 'No buddy, please come off the bridle a little bit for me'.
"But when we reached the five-sixteenths pole, I pulled him out from behind the horses and as soon as he saw the light, he just went off."
Trainer Charles Lopresti, who watched the Woodbine crowd rise to give his six-year-old gelding a standing ovation after the race, said: "He's a great horse, a dream come true, and he makes us very proud. What a wonderful horse.
"You try not to do too much with him. You've just to keep him fresh between races. He's such an unbelievable work horse that you don't want to work him too much. Once you get him to this level, you've just got to keep him ticking over.
"I just hope he's around for years to come."
Richard Fahey's bid to take the Grade Two Canadian Stakes for the second year running came unstuck when Ladys First finished an honourable fifth under Tony Hamilton.
The recent Sandown dead-heater led the field early in the home straight and did her best to hold off allcomers before eventually being headed and losing more places in the final strides.
The race went to Minakshi, ridden by Luis Contreras.