TOUGHER TESTS LOOM FOR THE RED HOT WISDOM TREE
By Mike Bozich
Without question, Tom Pollack and Jeff Cullipher's filly pacer Wisdom Tree has been dominating throughout much of her sophomore season. She has won nine of twelve races as a 3-year-old, with five of those wins coming against New York Sire Stakes competition. She also has a Grand Circuit triumph to her credit.
Bred by Winbak Farm, Wisdom Tree is out of the first crop of Betterthancheddar, and out of the dam Wisdom. "She (Wisdom Tree) was a half-sister of a horse I owned with Randy Bendis called Rich Wisdom," said Pollack. "We had some success with him, and he ended up getting hurt." Rich Wisdom won over $142,000 as a two-year-old. "We saw Wisdom Tree was kind of a looker out of a new sire (Betterthancheddar) and we decided to take a swing." Pollack, along with co-owner Jeff Cullipher purchased Wisdom Tree at the Lexington Select Sale for $28,000.
Things didn't start well for the Jeff Cullipher trainee. After a pair of winning qualifiers, she had to wait until her 8th career start to break her maiden in a New York Sire Stakes event at Monticello. "We knew she had a ton of talent, but were concerned about her getting around the smaller ovals," Pollack said. She went on to win 2 of her next 3 starts, but finished a tough luck 7th in the NYSS Finals at Yonkers. "We drew the 8 post, and she was actually loaded with pace in the lane," said Pollack. "Her driver that night (Tim Tetrick) said she could've easily finished 2nd or 3rd if she could've stayed on her feet. She was just going too fast."
As great of a 3-year-old season as she has had to this point, it didn't get off to a good beginning. "She got kind of sideways behind the gate in her first start of the season, and I thought 'oh man' here we go again," said Pollack. "Jeff (Cullipher) assured me this was different. Then she went on to catch fire." She went on to win 7 of her next 8 races, including the Nadia Lobell, a Grand Circuit event at Hoosier Park.
As far as what's next, co-owner Tom Pollack maybe eying a potential Breeders Crown appearance if all goes well. "We have actually kicked around discussions of supplementing her to the Breeders Crown. We are thinking about it," said Pollack. Her next start will be at Yonkers for the last leg of the New York Sire Stakes, followed by the finals a few weeks later. She is staked to three events at Hoosier Park through October (Pegasus, Circle City, and the U.S.S Indianapolis), as well as the Matron in November at Dover Downs.
Wisdom Tree's half-sister Smart Girl will be selling (Hip #239) at the upcoming Lexington Sale in October.