Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap comes our way this Saturday, August 10 from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go one mile on Saratoga's inner turf course chasing the winner's share of the $500,000 purse.
The Fourstardave has attracted a strong field of seven for race 19 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:45 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all seven combatants for this lucrative Grade 2 stakes.
Wise Dan - How good was Wise Dan in 2012? He is the only horse since 1981 to win three Eclipse Awards in one night. He was the runaway winner in Horse of the Year, Four-year-old & up male and Male turf (3yo&up). He has won seven straight races ahead of the Fourstardave and 12 of his last 14 races overall including the Breeders' Cup in November. This year he looks to be on an Eclipse Award path once again - three starts and three impressive wins. Last time out was the Grade 3 Firecracker Handicap after the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and the Maker's 46 Mile Stakes. He is simply the most dominant horse on the planet right now, is the defending champion in this race, will carry the highweight of 129 pounds and the one to beat Saturday! He is the 3-5 favorite on the morning line and will have John Velazquez in the saddle.
Lea - Albert Stall trained colt has only seven career starts but he has hit the board in all - four wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a decent second in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap behind Wise Dan at Churchill Downs June 29 after two straight wins - the best of which coming in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November. He has just two starts this year but is 2-for-2 at Saratoga and despite being relatively lightly raced is a threat to the mighty Wise Dan on Saturday. He is the second choice on the morning line at 5-1 odds - Joel Rosario gets the mount.
King Kreesa - is coming off his biggest career win - last time out in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes at Belmont Park July 4. He also had a good win over Lubash in the minor Kingston Stakes at Belmont Park June 1 after a third in the Grade 3 Fort Marcys Stakes May 4. Before those results was nice third in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 in his only other start this year. He ended 2012 with an ugly tenth in a Starter Stakes at Gulfstream after a fourth in the minor Montserrat Stakes and a good second in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap in October. He has had some sketchy results but with two straight wins and four straight placings in 2013 there is no doubt that King Kreesa is in the best form of his career. He sits at 6-1 odds on the morning line.
Za Approval - raced in stakes company for the first time in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes February 23 and finished fourth but followed that with a very nice win in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 and another Grade 3 score - the Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth May 18. Last time out was another very good result - a second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park June 29. He has won three of his last five starts all this year for trainer Christophe Clement and enters the Fourstardave in terrific form. Despite his form Za Approval is the 8-1 fourth choice on the morning line.
Mr. Commons - made a name for himself as a top turfer after he won the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes last February 4 at Santa Anita to follow a win at the Sir Beaufort Stakes on that same track on December 26, 2011 but hasn't tasted victory since. He had an OK third in the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile here in October to follow a good second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile. He also finished second in two straight races - the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes and the Grade 2 American Handicap and was fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on June 30. Mr. Commons raced to a fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile and followed that with an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita March 2. He also had and an OK third this year behind Wise Dan and Data Link in the Maker's 46 Mile April 12 and is coming off an unflattering fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here July 24. He hasn't won since last February - something that trainer John Sherreffs hopes to change Saturday.
Skyring - D. Wayne Lukas trained colt had a terrific win in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico May 18 after a fourth in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland April 12 behind Wise Dan. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 United Nations. Other results this year include a second in the minor Fifth Season Stakes in January at Oaklawn Park and a fifth in the minor Essex Handicap on that same track in February. He has just four wins in 21 career starts and looked good two starts back. But he will be looking to erase the memory of a poor start last time out. He is the second longest shot in the field at 15-1 odds.
Willyconker - Irish trained gelding burst on to the scene last winter with a win in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe after a second in the Grade 2 Arcadia but hasn't been the same since. His last two graded stakes races have resulted in a ninth at the Mervin H. Muniz in April 2012 and a tenth in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes in February of this year. He does have two Allowance Optional Claiming scores this year but is coming off a ninth in a similar race on this track July 20.
Race 10 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
||I. Ortiz, Jr.
||A. Stall, Jr.