Wise Dan returns from surgery to win Bernard Baruch Handicap
Wise Dan held off long shot Optimizer by a nose Saturday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.
Ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the two-time reigning Horse of the Year returned to racing 15 weeks after emergency colic surgery. Favored at 4-5 in a field of nine older horses, Wise Dan ran 1-1/16 miles in 1:39.08 -- 0.17 seconds off the record for the main turf course.
"He showed today why he is the two-time Horse of the Year," trainer Charles LoPresti said. "He'll be way tougher next time."
Bred and owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan raced to his third victory in three starts this year and paid $3.60, $3.10 and $2.20. Wise Dan has 22 victories in 30 lifetime starts, and the $150,000 winner's share pushed his career earnings to $6,952,920.
Optimizer returned $14.60 and $8.20, and Five Iron paid $4.70 to show. Sayaad, Bio Pro, North Star Boy, Sky Blazer, Boisterous and Paris Vegas completed the order of finish.