OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap comes our way from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York this Saturday, August 15. A nice purse of $500,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go one mile on Saratoga's turf track.
10 strong collection of milers will give it a go in the Fourstardave Handicap - race 10 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:25 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Ironicus - Shug McGaughey trained colt has placed in eight of nine career starts - four wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He enters on a terrific two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out July 8 at Belmont Park and an upset win at 7-1 odds in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at Pimlico May 1. Before that was a second and a first respectively in a pair of Allowance races to start his year. Ironicus has been mighty impressive so far, has hit the board in all eight career grass starts and hopes that jockey Javier Castellano can keep that roll going from post 3.
Seek Again - defending champion, Bill Mott pupil had seven starts in Britain that yielded three wins and two second place finishes including a win at York. He made his North American debut December 1, 2013 and won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and followed that with a second behind Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 3, an OK third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 7 and another good win - in the 2014 Fourstardave Handicap August 9. Seek Again is coming off consecutive respectable thirds - the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile June 13 at Santa Anita and in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 2 after he finished a disappointing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He enters in so-so form and hopes for a repeat win Saturday. Julien Leparoux rides from post 5.
Mshawish - Todd Pletcher trainee colt has 18 career starts with six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He started his career overseas and had three wins and two seconds in 11 starts - the best of which was a Group 2 stakes race at Meydan last February. He has six North American starts including a three race win streak - the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February, the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes January 10 and the minor El Prado Stakes December 16. Since the streak he has just one start and that resulted in a third in a Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan in March. Mshawish has three wins and three third place finishes in his last six starts overall- competitive every time out but hits the track for the first time in 4 1/2 months Saturday. John Velazquez has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Vyjack - won his first four career starts including a pair of graded stakes scores at Aqueduct - the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes and the 2013 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes to start 2014 but has been up and down since. He won the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap September 27 and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in November. He has five starts this year with just a second and a third place finish to show for it - a third last time out in the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes July 11 at Belmont Park followed an OK second in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes in June, a fifth in the minor Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct March 23, a fourth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 18 and a seventh in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 15. Vyjack has been competitive at times - six wins, a second and two third place finishes in 19 career starts and looks like he may be rounding back into form ahead of this weekend. Junior Alvardo has the call on the 126 pound highweight from post 7 Saturday.
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Jack Milton - Todd Pletcher trainee had looked good earlier this year before an ugly ninth last time out in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes June 6. He had a second in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 2 and a great win in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile April 10. Before that he failed to place in two starts - a fourth in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes February 21 followed a ninth in the Woodbine Mile in September. He also had a two race win streak last summer- the Grade 3 Poker Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths in June at Belmont Park and an Allowance Optional Claiming May 1. Jack Milton has been maddeningly inconsistent the last year and will turn to Victor Espinoza to change all of that from gate 8.
King Kreesa - multiple graded stakes winner enters on a two race win streak - the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes July 11 and the Grade 3 Poker Stakes June 13 after a pair of thirds and a disappointing sixth in minor stakes action to start his year. King Kreesa has placed in six of his last seven starts overall and now has nine wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 25 career starts. He looks for his third straight win Saturday when he leaves from gate 4 with Jose Ortiz guiding him.
Grand Tito - won the 2014 Grade 1 Miami Mile in April and since has 13 starts with two wins (last time out in the minor Miesque's Approval Stakes at Gulfstream July 5 and an Allowance last August), four seconds (the 2015 Miami Mile, the Grade 3 Canadian Turf February 21, the minor Skip Trial Stakes at Gulfstream last July and in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes in January) and three thirds - one coming two back in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes March 28. He's also had some unflattering results in there too. Grand Tito has placed in five of his last six starts overall and enters in decent form. He hopes for his first graded stakes score since April, 2014 Saturday when he departs from gate 6 with Rafael Hernandez in the reins.
Grand Arch - finished second in this race last year after a win in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes at Woodbine last June. Grand Arch has certainly been disappointing since - a fifth last time out in the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park July 11 followed a sixth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in May, an Allowance score in April and an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He has placed in just one of his last four starts overall and hopes to return to the form we saw last summer. Luis Saez will be in the saddle from gate 2 Saturday.
Skyring - uber-experienced multiple graded stakes winning D Wayne Lukas pupil has 35 career starts with five wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. He won the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Handicap in March, 2014 and the 2013 Grade 2 Dixie Stakes but hasn't looked good the last 15 months - failing to place in seven races over that span. He enters off a fourth in the Grade 2 Firecracker Stakes and a pair of sevenths in graded stakes action - not great. Not a whole lot is expected from Skyring Saturday when he leaves from the outside post 10 with Cornelio Velasquez guiding him.
Weekend Hideaway - Main Track Only entry won the minor Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint in January - the only time he's placed in seven starts. He also won a couple of minor stakes at this time last year. That said Weekend Hideaway certainly isn't in great from. He may leave from post 9 Saturday if the race is moved.
Race 10 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:25 PM.
|1||Mshawish||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|2||Grand Arch||L. Saez||B. Lynch|
|3||Ironicus||J. Castellano||C. McGaughey III|
|4||King Kreesa||J. Ortiz||D. Donk|
|5||Seek Again||J. Leparoux||W. Mott|
|6||Grand Tito||R. Hernandez||G. Delgado|
|7||Vyjack||J. Alvarado||W. Mott|
|8||Jack Milton||V. Espinoza||T. Pletcher|
|9||Weekend Hideaway||.||P. Serpe|
|10||Skyring||C. Velasquez||D. Lukas|
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