afleetalexandra:

It was a close one, but in the end reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan won the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap by a nose! It was his first race since undergoing emergency colic surgery in May

The 7-year-old gelding carried the top weight of 127 pounds, giving at least 8 pounds to every other horse in the field. Last year’s Fairgrounds Handicap winner Optimizer, carrying 116 pounds, came flying late and nearly caught the champion, but Wise Dan prevailed in a photo finish decision 

Next on Wise Dan’s agenda is the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in October, followed by his return to the Breeder’s Cup in November. He will attempt to win the Breeder’s Cup Mile for the third consecutive year, which will match champion French mare Goldikova's record

Trainer Charlie LoPresti: "Can you believe it? It’s incredible. He’s an amazing creature, I’ll tell ya. He seems fine. He ate everything up. We got him out and walked him and his legs looked great. I mean, he’s a little tired but that’s to be expected. He had to really show his heart and class, and that’s what makes him the horse that he is."

(Photo source and read more here)

afleetalexandra:

Let’s all give a shout out to itsmyluckyday, one of the toughest warriors around! He’s been on the comeback trail all year, after fracturing his pelvis last June, and he put his name back on top with a determined win in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga
Itsmyluckyday, who finished won the 2013 Holy Bull Stakes and finished second in the Preakness, has been steadily working his way back up the ranks all year. Four weeks ago, he lost the Whitney Handicap to Moreno by 1 1/4 lengths, but this time the finish was reversed. Moreno had the lead early on, but Itsmyluckyday wore him down in a stretch-long battle to prevail by 1/2 length. 
(Photo from and read more here)

afleetalexandra:

Let’s all give a shout out to itsmyluckyday, one of the toughest warriors around! He’s been on the comeback trail all year, after fracturing his pelvis last June, and he put his name back on top with a determined win in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga

Itsmyluckyday, who finished won the 2013 Holy Bull Stakes and finished second in the Preakness, has been steadily working his way back up the ranks all year. Four weeks ago, he lost the Whitney Handicap to Moreno by 1 1/4 lengths, but this time the finish was reversed. Moreno had the lead early on, but Itsmyluckyday wore him down in a stretch-long battle to prevail by 1/2 length. 

(Photo from and read more here)

startinggate:

Wise Dan returns to the winners’ circle at Saratoga following a courageous win in the Bernard Baruch Handicap (II) over Optimizer.

Wise Dan wins his comeback race! He was 1/5 of a second off the course record!

"But one thing can be agreed upon. They were horses of entirely different types. Man o’ War was an equine giant - not a monstrosity but a very big horse, standing 16.2, muscled enormously, and full of the flaming spirit of the Fair Plays. His action was high and his courage matched it, and when he had a horse to go with him, he did not run as much as hurtle. A man who had seen Man o’ War once did not need to be a horseman to recognize him again, for perhaps no horse of at least this century had the carriage, the power, and the exuberant vitality of Fair Play’s mighty son.

Citation, on the other hand, is not particularly a striking horse, though this is not to be considered as any criticism of his appearance. He is a very smooth, very bloodlike dark bay, just over 16 hands, almost perfect in conformation, which means that no one feature stands out over another, and with a beautifully chiseled head. The nostrils are large and flaring, the eyes unusually large and expressive. His expression is extremely intelligent…

Man o’ War did everything with a flair; Citation does it with quiet perfection. Man o’ War ran with a lavish expedition of strength, almost of brute strength, his head high and his copper mane flaring. Citation moves like a frictionless machine. Man o’ War would bolt his food if he wasn’t watched, just as he tore into everything. citation eats as much as his trainer likes, but he isn’t ravenous. His disposition is quiet, though occasionally he would kick a bit in the winner’s enclosure after a long race, and nothing which goes on in the stable upsets him.”

- Joe H. Palmer, American Race Horses 1948