Bet on the Wise Dan Stakes
Formerly known as the Firecracker Handicap, the grade 2, $200,000 turf race at Churchill Downs will be run as the Wise Dan Handicap on June 18, 2016. The mile and one sixteenth race was won by its new namesake in 2011 and again in 2013. The two-time Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup winner was retired in 2015 after earning over $7.5 million and winning 19 graded stakes races. Wise Dan was particularly great on turf where he won 15 of 16 career starts.
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Wise Dan Stakes Betting Odds
In the final running of the race as the Firecracker Handicap, 2015 winner Departing at better than 4-1 provided plenty of explosives of his own, slipping by on the hedge with a bold move to earn the victory in just his second career turf start. The Al Stall trainee paid a handsome $10.40 to win despite possessing plenty of credible form and capped a $2 exacta that returned over $80. Players using Bovada’s racebook are always able recoup an additional 3% rebate on all win bets and 5% on all exotic wagers win or lose.
2016 Wise Dan Handicap Contenders
In the first running of the race as the Wise Dan Handicap, the namesake might be flattered by the deep and talented group of veteran runners assembled. The field of eleven is led by 6/5 favorite The Pizza Man, who has been a remarkable and consistent gelding in his own right. The Roger Brueggmann trainee has earned nearly $2 million while winning 16 of 27 races including a grade 1 score in the 2015 Arlington Million. In his last, The Pizza Man ran uncharacteristically flat while finishing fifth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap February 6. The Pizza Man will be opposed by a strong contingent including Thatcher Street (8/1) and Conquest Typhoon (6/1).
Post Position and Morning Line Odds
1) Thatcher Street 8/1
2) The Pizza Man 6/5
3) Granny’s Kitten 12/1
4) Flatlined 15/1
5) Conquest Typhoon 6/1
6) Potomac River 15/1
7) R. Great Adventure 15/1
8) Pleuven 8/1
9) Za Approval 8/1
10) Kasaqui 12/1
11) Behesht 20/1
Did you know?
Wise Dan was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 2016 and was truly the kind of talent and competitor to be considered one of racing’s all-time greats. The gelding was versatile enough to win graded stakes on dirt, synthetic, and turf, but left a lasting legacy on the latter surface winning such prestigious grade 1 events as the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Woodbine Mile, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, Shadwell Turf Mile and Maker’s Mark twice. That’s no misprint. He won each event twice in addition to repeat wins in the Firecracker Handicap. For good measure, Wise Dan also won the Grade 1 Clark Handicap on dirt and was a troubled trip away from winning the Grade 1 Stephen Foster on dirt. The race named for the champ has also produced such notable past winners as Kitten’s Joy (2005) and Miesque’s Approval (2006).