Wise Dan: following the same successful route to Breeders' Cup MilePICTURE: Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Wise Dan back at Keeneland for Cup prep
Preview: USA, Saturday (10.21pm BST, live on ATR)
Keeneland: Shadwell Turf Mile (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
TRAINER Charles LoPresti clearly sees no reason to mess with a winning strategy as he sends Wise Dan (John Velazquez) back to Keeneland for the Shadwell Turf Mile before he attempts to defend his Breeders' Cup Mile crown on November 2.
America's reigning Horse of the Year is following an identical path back to Santa Anita, having won the Fourstardave at Saratoga in August prior to the Woodbine Mile three weeks ago - just as he did in 2012.
Having broken the track record at Woodbine last month, the six-year-old's winning streak now stands at nine, all of them in Grade 1 or 2 company.
Undefeated this term, he has been beaten just once in two seasons - and that was just a head defeat giving 4lb to last weekend's Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Ron The Greek in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster on dirt. He has won ten of his 11 starts on the lawn.
Wise Dan breaks from the wide outside in a field of ten for Saturday's $750,000 contest, where rivals include Winning Prize (Neil Drysdale/Garrett Gomez), a three-time Grade 1 winner in Argentina who scored at Del Mar on his US debut. He starts from gate one.
Also taking on the champion are back-in-form Silver Max (Dale Romans/Robby Albarado), who has won his last two graded starts, multiple Grade 3 winner Summer Front (Christophe Clement/Joe Bravo) and last year's Penn Derby winner Handsome Mike (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez).
Turf Mile betting
Ladbrokes: 2-5 Wise Dan, 7 Winning Prize, Silver Max, 16 Summer Front, 20 Turallure, 25 Willcox Inn, 33 Handsome Mike, 40 Hogy, Coalport, 50 Skyring
Also on Saturday
Keeneland: Thoroughbred Club Of America Stakes (Grade 2) 6f, AW, 3yo+ f/m (8.45pm BST, live on ATR)
Champion female sprinter Groupie Doll (Buff Bradley/Rajiv Maragh) has her final prep before she defends her title in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. She won this last year by 6½ lengths en route to Santa Anita.
Keeneland: First Lady Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ (9.20pm BST, live on ATR)
Ballydoyle Group 3 winner Say (Aidan O'Brien/Joe Bravo), placed in Group 1 company last time, gets a shot of Lasix as she makes her US debut in this $400,000 contest.
Haydock winner Amazonas (Ed Dunlop/Joe Rocco) carries the Sir Robert Ogden colours.
The balance of her European form puts her in the mix against the likes of Dayatthespa (Chad Brown/John Velazquez), who has won both starts on the Keeneland turf, including a Grade 1 victory in last year's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
Daisy Devine (Andrew McKeever/James Graham) also has Grade 1 win here, in the 2012 Jenny Wiley, while Godolphin's Matriarch Stakes winner Better Lucky (Tom Albertrani/Julien Leparoux) will be better with the benefit of a recent run at Belmont.
First Lady Stakes betting
Ladbrokes: 3 Dayatthespa, Say, 5 Hungry Island, Amazonas, 8 Better Lucky, Daisy Devine, 16 Miz Ida, 20 Winding Way
Keeneland: Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (Grade 1) 1m½f, AW, 2yo (9.49pm BST, live on ATR)
A full field of 14 two-year-olds will be chasing this Grade 1 prize, including Solitary Ranger (Wayne Catalano/Florent Geroux), who broke his maiden by more than five lengths in Grade 3 company on the Arlington Polytrack. Earlier on he had finished second to Royal Ascot winner No Nay Never at this venue.
Ladbrokes: 7-2 Kendall's Boy, 5 Solitary Ranger, 6 General Jack, Conquest Titan, We Miss Artie, 8 Tiznowforamerica, 12 Rum Point, 16 Intense Holiday, Artic Slope, 20 School On a Hill, 33 Laddie Boy, 50 Pontos, Ready for Action
Indiana Downs: Indiana Derby (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt. 3yo (11.50pm BST)
Bob Baffert ships Power Broker (Martin Garcia) cross country in a bid to land this rich $500,000 event for the third time in five years.