Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan is back to defend his 2013 victory in Saturday's $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in support of the 140th Kentucky Derby.
Trained by Charles LoPresti, Wise Dan will break from the inside post in the 1 1/8-mile turf race with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez getting the mount versus nine challengers
Wise Dan, owned by Morton Fink, won last year's Turf Classic by 4 3/4 lengths over a yielding grass course. And just like last year the 7-year-old gelding is making his second start of the season in the stakes after capturing the Maker's 46 Mile turf race at Keeneland to begin his 2014 campaign.
"This horse is incredible. They don't come around that often. He's definitely a special horse, and he's proven it the last two-three years," Velazquez noted after winning the Maker's 46 Mile.
A six-time Eclipse Award winner, Wise Dan has won the last two Breeders' Cup Miles and since the beginning of 2012 has won 12 of 14 starts. His bankroll now totals $6,473,610 with 20 wins in 28 lifetime starts. At Churchill the champion thoroughbred has won six of 10 starts for better than $1 million.
Here is the field for the Woodford Reserve Turf in post position order: Wise Dan, John Velazquez; Bright Thought, Victor Espinoza; Guys Reward, Corey Lanerie; Admiral Kitten, Julien Leparoux; Kaigun, Alan Garcia; Moro Tap, Rosie Napravnik; Boisterous, Javier Castellano; Finnegans Wake, Mike Smith; Skyring, Joe Rocco Jr. and Seek Again, Joel Rosario.
The approximate post time for the Woodford is 4:44 p.m. ET.