Horse of the Year Wise Dan continued his winning ways Saturday with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga. The gelding, owned by Morton Fink, kept a hold of first-place in the NTRA National Thoroughbred Poll.
Trained by Charles LoPresti, Wise Dan received 36 top votes from among the 48 cast and 458 points. The 6-year-old is perfect in all four starts this year and victorious in his last eight races.
"It's not like Zenyatta or Personal Ensign where he's undefeated lifetime," LoPresti said. "I would have been OK, but I didn't want to get beat."
Following the race, LoPresti hedged his bet on where Wise Dan will next start.
"As Mr. Fink always says 'one race at a time.' We'll see how he comes out. If he comes out good maybe Woodbine, maybe wait till Kentucky. We'll just let him tell us," LoPresti commented
Game On Dude remains solid in second-place with 11 first-place votes and 430 points. Trained by Bob Baffert, the 6-year-old gelding makes his next start in the Pacific Classic on Sunday, Aug. 25.
Whitney Handicap champ Cross Traffic is third with 289 points. The 4-year-old will start next in the Woodward Handicap at Saratoga on Saturday, Aug. 31.
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta is fourth with 248 points and will start on Sunday, Aug. 25 in the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga.
Point of Entry, sidelined with an injury, holds on to fifth with 208.
A pair of 3-year-olds trained by Todd Pletcher come in sixth and seventh, respectively. Haskell winner Verrazano garnered a single first-place vote and 170 points while Jim Dandy champ Palace Malice jumped past Sahara Sky with 152 points. The two 3-year-olds will meet in the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 24.
"You hate to run two horses like this against each other, but it's the right thing for each horse and each owner, so that's what we're going to do," Pletcher said. "Both horses are certainly in position where a win here would solidify their status at the top of the division. What better place to decide it than on the racetrack in the Travers?"
Sahara Sky received 136 points followed by Fort Larned (100) and Obviously (83).