(Stitched wins the G2 Wise Dan Stakes at Ellis Park / Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Kevin Kerstein:


NathanMcCauley, Michael Olszewski and William Minton’s Stitched nailed front-running Get Smokin at the wire to win Saturday’s 34th running of the $400,000 Wise Dan (Grade II) at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.

          Stitched gave trainer Greg Foley his second stakes victory on the Saturday program. Earlier in the card he won the $225,000 Kelly’s Landing (Listed) with Bango.

          The fleet-footed Get Smokin was sent to the early lead as his form suggested in the Wise Dan. With jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard, he led the field in the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile turf event through a quarter-mile fraction of :24.44. Onto the backside, jockey Flavien Prat positioned Stitched in fourth, about three lengths off Get Smokin. Santana and Get Smokin continued to lead the Wise Dan field up the backside through a moderate half-mile of :48.10. Around the far turn, Stitched began to get closer to Get Smokin but it wasn’t until inside the 1/16th pole that Stitched was able to narrowly get by Get Smokin for a neck victory.

          “I’m really grateful I got the mount,” said Prat, who picked up the mount from Marcelino Pedroza Jr. “He broke well from the gate and was able to be in a good position when we needed to make a move. He gave me a chance to get into the race and he did things from there.”

          The heavy even-money favorite Set Piece (GB) charged late to close into the soft fractions but only managed a third-place effort.

          Stitched completed 1 1/16 miles 1:40.97 over the labeled “good” turf course.

          With his victory in the Wise Dan, Stitched boosted his earnings to $543,021 and improved his record to 13-6-0-0.

          “His first two races this year were good but he really threw in a clunker last out which wasn’t like him,” Foley said. “Hats off to the owners for wanting to be aggressive and put him in this race. We were very disappointed after his allowance race. We thought he’d win that day. The owners were ready to take on this race and credit to them. He looks like a million bucks and Flavien (Prat) rode a perfect race.”

          Stitched is a 4-year-old colt by Mizzen Mast out of the Into Mischief mare Walking Miracle. He was bred in Kentucky by co-owner Nathan McCauley.

Here is the complete order of finish for the Wise Dan (with $2 mutuel payouts):

  1. Stitched ($94.50, $32.16, $8.94)
  2. Get Smokin (X, $7.28, $4.22)
  3. Set Piece (GB) (X, X, $2.30)
  4. Hozier
  5. Camp Hope
  6. Harlan Estate
  7. Kittansett
  8. Play Action Pass
  9. Tut’s Revenge
  10. Cowboy Justice (GB)

          Additional quotes from the Wise Dan:

          Florent Geroux, jockey, Set Piece (GB), third: “The pace probably hurt him today over this course. It was softer here than last time when he was able to close into slower fractions. He came with his run down the stretch but couldn’t get by the leaders.”