Red Barron’s Barn multiple graded stakes-winning Itsinthepost (FR) is set to take on 13 rivals including Amerman Racing Stables Dixie Stakes (Grade II) runner-up Admission Office, Marc Detampel’s Opening Verse winner Siem Riep and Bourbon Lane Stables’ Ben Ali (GIII) hero Bourbon Resolution in Saturday’s 30th running of the $250,000 Wise Dan (Grade II) at 1 1/16 miles over Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course.
Itsinthepost, who has been on a layoff since August, is slated to return to action in the Wise Dan for trainer Jeff Mullins. The 7-year-old gelded son of American Post (GB) won the 2018 San Marcos (GII), San Luis Rey (GII) and Charles Whittingham (GII) at Santa Anita. Overall, he’s won seven Grade II events.
Jockey Tyler Baze has the mount on Itsinthepost from post No. 7.
Chief among Itsinthepost’s rivals in the Wise Dan is Admission Office for trainer Brian Lynch. Admission Office, who was previously conditioned by Chad Brown, closed from nine lengths off the early pace in the Dixie to finish a half-length behind multiple graded stakes winner Catholic Boy.
The three-time winner will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post 12.
Also entered in the Wise Dan field is Siem Riep, who bested a field of nine rivals by 1 ½ lengths in the Opening Verse on Thurby at Churchill Downs. Trained by Ben Colebrook, Siem Riep will be ridden by James Graham from post 6.
Ben Ali (GIII) winner Bourbon Resolution will test the turf for the first time in the Wise Dan for trainer Ian Wilkes. The 4-year-old New Year’s Day colt has two published workouts over the turf including a five-furlong move in 1:00.20 in June 2 at Churchill Downs.
“I really like his action when we’ve worked him on the grass,” Wilkes said. “He’s a horse that I think could run all day. When we first worked him on the grass I could tell he was stretching out better than he had previously done on the dirt.”
Wilkes’ son-in-law Chris Landeros is named to ride from post 14.
The Wise Dan field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Get Western (Julien Leparoux, Charlie LoPresti); All Right (Adam Beschizza, John Ortiz); First Premio (Brian Hernandez Jr., Mark Casse): Hot Springs (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Holiday Stone (Florent Geroux, Eddie Kenneally); Siem Riep (Graham, Colebrook); Itsinthepost (Baze, Mullins); Noble Commander (Gabriel Saez, Phil D’Amato); Inspector Lynley (Jose Ortiz, Shug McGaughey); El Picaro (CHI) (Javier Castellano, Ignacio Correas IV); March to the Arch (Tyler Gaffalione, Casse); Admission Office (Rosario, Lynch); Cullum Road (John Velazquez, Mike Maker); and Bourbon Resolution (Landeros, Wilkes). Also Eligible: Parlor (Corey Lanerie, Eddie Kenneally).
The Wise Dan will go as Race 6 at 8:37 p.m.
The race formerly known as the Firecracker was renamed in 2016 to honor Mort Fink’s two-time Horse of the Year who completed a spectacular racing career with a perfect four-race season in 2014. The Charlie LoPresti-trained gelding by Wiseman’s Ferry compiled a remarkable lifetime record of 23-2-0 in 31 races with earnings of $7,552,920 from 2010-14.