Yesterday, as almost everyone knows, Wise Dan galloped to an easy win in the Woodbine Mile. He sat slightly behind a fast pace and romped home with ridiculous ease to set a new track record.
What was also ridiculous was the buzz this horse is generating. While winning his 9th in a row, he is finding himself in that rare spot in racing: A horse who can draw viewers, handle and some serious interest.
Woodbine set a new handle record for Mile day, and just about everywhere yesterday afternoon, almost everyone on my twitter feed was watching one racetrack, and that was Woodbine. Often times the Paulick Report puts a topic up on a race result. Very rarely there are too many comments, even in a sparkling victory, but at the link above there's a lot of congratulations.
If we compare all of that to Wise Dan's last win at Woodbine last year, well, there is no comparison.
When horses race longer and longer, and win and continue to win, they create a following. Wise Dan has that following. He's starting to look more like Zenyatta in terms of fan support - the trainer and owner's choice of races notwithstanding - than any other horse we've seen this side of the Atlantic or Pacific of late.
When you see events like this it proves that racing still has that fan draw, if we have a horse worthy of it. The sport can move mountains with such animals, and it's probably why so many were disappointed Frankel called it quits last year without going to the Breeders Cup. Could you imagine that buzz?
This year the Breeders Cup has its star to promote, there's no question about it. His name is Wise Dan. He's clearly the star of the show.
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