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Wise Dan Stakes Odds: Set Piece Should Rule a Heavy Favorite

Written by: Brian Zipse
Published June 29, 2023
11 min read

Wise Dan Stakes Odds and Post Positions

Check out our predictions and odds for the Wise Dan Stakes at Ellis Park!










D Cannon

D Beckman





F Arrieta

S Stuart





B J Hernandez Jr

K McPeek





R Santana Jr

M Casse





T Gaffalione

R Medina





C Torres

P Lobo





J Graham

C Murphy





F Geroux

B Cox





M Pedroza Jr

G Foley





J Leparoux

R Brisset

*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Wise Dan Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$5 Exacta Box - Camp Hope, Set Piece, and Kittansett = $30 

$5 Exacta Box - Camp Hope and Set Piece = $10 

$5 Exacta Part Wheel - Camp Hope and Set Piece over Camp Hope, Set Piece, and Kittansett = $20

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Camp Hope (6/1).    



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Wise Dan Stakes Predictions

Fresh off a decisive victory in last month’s Grade 3 Arlington Stakes, Set Piece should rule a heavy favorite when he faces nine others in Saturday’s $400,000 Wise Dan Stakes on the turf at Ellis Park. 

The 7-year-old son of Dansili has been a force on the turf in the United States since coming over from England three years ago.

Trained by Brad Cox, the English-bred has won 12-of-27 overall, with over $1 million in earnings. He won this race at Churchill Downs back in 2021 as one of his four graded stakes victories.

Chief among his rivals on Saturday in the Grade 2 affair will be the speedy Get Smokin. Trained by Mark Casse, he finished a good second behind Set Piece last time in the Arlington. 

A two-time graded stakes winner, the chestnut son of Get Stormy will look to go right to the lead and see if he can take the field all the way around in the 1 1/16-mile test.

Another starter to watch on Saturday is the Kenny McPeek-trained Camp Hope. A stakes winner at 3, he missed most of last season due to a physical setback. 

It took a while for the son of Summer Front to return to his best, but he looked good last time while winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs.

Wise Dan Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Set Piece

The class of this race, this Juddmonte home-bred will look to add to his gaudy record on Saturday. A winner of 12-lifetime races, he looks to have found a good spot in this Grade 2 affair. 

Both the 9-furlong distance and the likely strong early pace should be right up his alley. Having said that, he falls well out of it early and always needs the luck of a good trip to get up and win. 

Trained by Brad Cox, the classy English bred is certainly the horse to beat on Saturday, but his odds will be very low coming off a nice stakes win. Because of the lack of value, I will take a small shot to beat him here.

Get Smokin

This 6-year-old son of Get Stormy is a proven commodity. He flashes his early speed and dares the rest of the field to come and get him. A multiple-stakes winner, he comes into this race in good form, having just finished second to the favorite last time. 

Unfortunately for his chances here, there is other speed in the race to soften him up just a bit, and the 9-furlong distance will also make it more difficult for him to carry his speed. 

I respect him as a quality turf horse, but I do not believe this is the spot for him to show his absolute best down the stretch.

Camp Hope

This son of Summer Front had some good-looking wins over the Keeneland turf course the past few years. Unfortunately, he missed much of his 4-year-old season but now seems to be rounding into form once again. 

A nice rallying victory last time at Churchill Downs should have him ready to compete well in stakes company. He also should get a nice pace set-up in this race which has plenty of speed. 

He also can get first jump on the big favorite. Considering the much better value on him as opposed to Set Piece, he is the top pick.

Harlan Estate

He was beaten last time by both Set Piece and Get Smokin, but his third-place finish in the Arlington Stakes might have been his best performance to date. 

A son of Kantharos, he has plenty of stakes experience and will not be overwhelmed by the competition. Coming off two sharp efforts at Churchill Downs. He deserves serious consideration in this one. 

I’m not crazy for the rail draw for him in this spot, and I am siding with a few others, but it would come as no surprise to see him involved down the stretch.

Play Action Pass

This son of Cairo Prince has a 2-for-2 record over the Ellis Park turf course. One of the younger horses in the race, he will need to prove that he can run with the big boys on Saturday. 

He was beaten by Camp Hope last time at Churchill Downs, but it was his first start of the year and he could well improve here.

Considering his record locally, he is definitely one to consider, but I do like a few others better in this $400,000 affair.


Lightly raced for a 6-year-old, this son of American Pharoah earned his first victory on the turf last time with a solid performance in a Churchill Downs allowance race. 

After a pair of victories last season, it finally looks like the Paulo Lobo-trainee has been able to stay healthy enough to string together races and could be ready to prove himself a stakes-caliber runner. 

Making his third start of the year, I expect to see his best on Saturday. This race should provide a good distance and pace set-up for him. He is my top longshot.


This son of Pioneerof the Nile was farther back early last time and responded with a pretty nice rally to finish third behind Camp Hope. I’m not sure if that is a new style, but if so, it can help in this spot with plenty of early speed. 

The 5-year-old  did earn his first stakes win nicely last fall at Churchill Downs, but that came in a race that was taken off the turf. 

Overall, he looks to be a cut below the best in here, including the horse that defeated him in his latest.


After fading badly last time against Camp Hope, this son of Mizzen Mast will look to stretch his speed even farther and against stronger overall competition this time. 

With the speedy Get Smokin in the race, it does not seem like a likely scenario. Having said that, he did win a pair of stakes races on the grass last summer, and if you can dismiss the last, he does have plenty of solid results on the turf. 

Still, this Grade 2 affair just does not look like a good one for him to have his best chance to succeed.

Tutt’s Revenge

This experienced son of Eskendereya does show seven career victories on the grass, they have just not come lately. 

Running primarily on the dirt of late, he has been sprinting without too much success. Now he stretches out, switches surfaces, and removes the blinkers

His results are good enough to believe that he can make it back to the winner’s circle at any time, but this looks like a tough spot for a horse who has not won on the turf for more than a year.

Cowboy Justice

The jury is still out on this English-bred son of Lope de Vega. Twice a winner over in Ireland out of 11 starts, he was brought to America in hopes that he would take to the U.S. style of turf racing. 

After a decent debut in the States at Keeneland where he was third in an allowance race, he disappointed last time at Churchill Downs. 

I do believe that there might be better days ahead for the 4-year-old gelding, but he just has not shown enough yet in his first two starts here to expect him to run big in this spot.



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How to Watch the Wise Dan Stakes

Wise Dan Stakes Race Information

  • What: Wise Dan Stakes (Grade 2) 
  • Location: Ellis Park
  • Time: Saturday, July 1 -- 4:55 pm Eastern time
  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Purse: $400,000
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Brian Zipse

293 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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