In the words of his trainer Charles LoPresti, Wise Dan is a pretty special horse who loves to run. The chestnut gelding stamped himself one of the top handicap horses of 2012 when, after a five-month layoff, he captured the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes with an eye-popping 10 ½-length triumph in a track record time of 1:46.63 for 1 1/8 miles.
In the words of his trainer Charles LoPresti, Wise Dan is a pretty special horse who loves to run. The chestnut gelding stamped himself one of the top handicap horses of 2012 when, after a five-month layoff, he captured the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes with an eye-popping 10 ½-length triumph in a track record time of 1:46.63 for 1 1/8 miles. He put himself in the discussion for Horse of the Year with an impressive three-race stretch - a runner-up finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), a five-length win in the Fourstardave Handicap (G2), and a runaway win in the Woodbine Mile Stakes (Can-G1). Wise Dan virtually cemented U.S. racing's top prize when he defeated a top international cast to win the 2012 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1). To top off his season, Wise Dan was named champion older male, champion turf male, and Horse of the Year for 2012.
He continued his domination in 2013, winning five straight races to open the year, including a trio of Grade 1 races, before his nine-race win streak came to an end in the off-the-turf Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1). Wise Dan found victory again in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Mile. Wise Dan became the first horse to sweep the champion older male, champion turf male, and Horse of the Year twice when he again won all three awards for 2013.
In 2014 Wise Dan was excellent once again and showed his champion's heart when coming back from illness. He captured all four of his starts that year, starting with Keeneland's Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile in April. After a win in the Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs, the gelding battled a bout of colic and had emergency surgery. He recovered and won the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga before regaining his crown in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in October.
After the Shadwell Turf Mile an ankle injury was discovered and the gelding was rested, unable to run in the 2014 Breeders' Cup. He resumed training in 2015 and targeted the Woodbine Mile for a his return, but a tendon injury less than a week before the race brought an end to Wise Dan's illustrious career.
Wise Dan set three track records in his time on the track. In addition to the aforementioned Keeneland record, he also set the standard for a mile at both Woodbine (1:31.75) and Santa Anita Park (1:31.78). He owns a record seven graded stakes victories at Keeneland.
The son of Wiseman’s Ferry out of the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle, who is one year younger than his half brother, stablemate and fellow multiple graded stakes winner Successful Dan, exhibits rarely seen versatility. The Morton Fink homebred has won graded stakes races whether they are contested on a dirt track, the turf course, or an artificial surface.
With more than $7.5 million in career earnings, Wise Dan can trace his bloodlines back to the great Northern Dancer and his pedigree also includes 1973 Triple Crown winner and two-time Horse of the Year Secretariat, who is the grandsire of Lisa Danielle. She also was owned and campaigned by Fink.