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Wise Dan wins Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

Wise Dan, with jockey John Velazquez, captures the

Wise Dan, with jockey John Velazquez, captures the Fourstardave horse race att Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs. (Aug. 10, 2013) Credit: AP

Derby Day showcases older stars, too, and the two-time defending Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, was the headliner on yesterday's undercard. The 7-year-old gelding was looking to repeat last year's easy victory in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. He won, but barely, causing lots of agita for those who made him the 1-2 favorite.

John Velazquez had to ask Wise Dan for everything as he battled head to head down the stretch with 7-1 shot Seek Again, and the champion prevailed by a head on the outside for his 13th win in 14 grass starts. Wise Dan improved to 21-for-29 on all surfaces for trainer Charles LoPresti. He earned $300,000, raising his career total above $6.7 million for Morton Fink.

In other stakes: Coffee Clique ($13.80) slipped through along the inside in deep stretch to beat 36-1 Dame Marie by half a length in the Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile. Javier Castellano, who is winning with 27 percent of his grass mounts, rode the 4-year-old filly. She was timed in 1:34.66 on a firm course . . . A layoff of almost a year didn't bother Midnight Lucky ($5.20), who led throughout for Rosie Napravnik in a 4½-length runaway in the Grade I Humana Distaff. Bob Baffert trains the 4-year-old filly, who covered 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.23 . . . Gary Stevens rallied Global View ($14) to a neck victory for trainer Tom Proctor in the Grade II American Turf for 3-year-olds. The time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:41.65 . . . Central Banker ($23.60), who had always come from off the pace and often from far back, flashed early speed under Corey Nakatani and held on by a head over Shakin It Up in the Grade II Churchill Downs Sprint. Central Banker went 7 furlongs in 1:21.15, ending a five-race losing streak for trainer Al Stall. It was his first win in five starts at the distance.


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