Big star, Wise Dan, retires from racing

Wise Dan in action. Photo courtesy of Keeneland and the Horse Collaborative.

Wise Dan in action. Photo courtesy of Keeneland and the Horse Collaborative.

BY JOHN WILKINSON— Wise Dan, a two time Horse of the Year and perennial fan favorite, has been retired, his trainer Charlie LoPresti announced.

The 8-year-old gelding, who has not raced in over 10 months due to a cannon bone injury, was slated to make his comeback in the Grade I Woodbine Mile.

“He’d been training lights out. But, we noticed some filling in his tendon this morning when we were giving him a bath,” said trainer Charlie LoPresti. “The vet suggested we scan it and it turns out he has a tear on the outside edge of his tendon.”

To say he’s had a good run would be underselling this future Hall of Famer. The chestnut gelding owned and bred by Morton Fink won 23 of his 31 career starts, with over $7.5 million in career earnings.

He won graded stakes on turf, dirt and synthetic surfaces, from 6 furlongs to a mile and 1/8. In an era coddling well-bred breeding stock, Wise Dan was a classic warrior who hated to lose and fired every time.

“Mr. Fink and I talked about it and we’ve all decided he should be retired at this age. There’s no point trying to bring him back again,” said LoPresti. “I expect he’ll retire to our farm here in Kentucky. He’ll be turned out with his brother Successful Dan.”

It’s been a helluva run. Happy retirement.

About the author:
John Wilkinson, the managing editor of Horse Collaborative, grew up on a Kentucky horse farm with dreams of being a jockey. But his devotion to food and pesky growth spurts ended his racing career before it ever got started. While Thoroughbreds are his passion, he believes that all equines are created equal.

5 responses to “Big star, Wise Dan, retires from racing”

  1. lexi63

    FINALLY an owner who takes responsibility for his animals after their racing career .

  2. J. Flint

    A wise decision to retire a beautiful horse! Congratulations on your career, Wise Dan, and best wishes for a long retirement with your brother, Successful Dan.

  3. Martha.

    If he were a colt he would have been “retired” years ago. Those leg injuries are brutal and life long. My OTTB is turning 20 and his leg is a mess. Can’t leave him unwrapped even in his stall any more.

  4. Carolyn McDonald

    Wise Dan last raced on Oct 4, 2014, he suffered a cannon bone injury which necessitated eleven (11) months off and given he’d earned over $7.5million in prizemoney, let alone the punt, one would imagine that he had well and truly done his job and a happy retirement was his much deserved reward. Why would one bring this magnificent racehorse back into training given his injury and the fact that he had recently suffered a severe bout of colic – it beggars belief!

    Wise Dan was high risk because of his age (9 years in 3 months’ time), had done 30 starts, had suffered a cannon bone injury and had eleven (11) months off recovering and resting. What an insane risk to take.
    Dr Chris Riggs, BVSc, PhD, DEO, Dipl. ECVS, MRCVS, head of Veterinary Clinical Services at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

    I think this horse was extremely fortunate in that he did not suffer a catastrophic limb injury.
    Don’t these idiots learn anything at all from Barbaro, Eight Belles and the others. According to a media report, they were trying to get Wise Dan to the Breeders’ Cup.

    And you MORTON FINK and you CHARLES LO PRESTI are extremely lucky that WISE DAN is alive today because you would never have been able to live it down if he had come to grief because of the stupid unnecessary risk you took with him.

    I hope this beautiful horse has a healthy retirement and that his carers ensure that he is monitored and properly managed so that he doesn’t come down with colic again.
    The above is just my opinion only, I do not mean to offend anyone but I say it as it is.

  5. tbdancer

    Well done, Wise Dan AND his connections. THIS is how all racehorse stories should end.

Leave a Reply