Two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Wise Dan has a non-displaced fracture in his right front fetlock and will not defend his title at this year's race, the Breeders' Cup announced Monday.
Morton Fink, the owner of Wise Dan, told event officials that trainer Charles LoPresti recently noticed some swelling in the horse's ankle. LoPresti then took X-rays, which revealed the fracture.
“As a result, we have decided to withdraw him from the Breeders’ Cup to allow the fracture to heal," said Fink. "Wise Dan has accomplished a lot in his career so far, and given us endless joy. We would never want to race him unless he is 100 percent."
Wise Dan is also the reigning two-time Horse of the Year. He has won all four of his races this year, including Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile and the Churchill Downs’ Turf Classic. He underwent emergency colic surgery in May, then came back to win two more races.
In his lifetime, Wise Dan has won 23 of 31 races and over $7.5 million in earnings.
“We won't decide if he will return to training until we see if he heals perfectly because he has nothing left to prove,” Fink said. “This is not a fracture that can be helped with surgery; he has to heal it on his own. We would like to thank everyone for their support and best wishes. Wise Dan is a very special horse to us and to the racing community.”
The 2014 Breeders' Cup Mile will be held on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
- Molly Geary