OTB Race Previews
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OffTrackBetting.com - A series of severe summer thunderstorms, complete with heavy rain and lightning, forced the cancellation of racing at Saratoga Race Course after the fifth race on Saturday, August 13.
Six races were cancelled, including the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap and the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack for 2-year-old fillies.
The Fourstardave will be rescheduled for Saturday, August 20, while the Adirondack will be rescheduled for Friday, August 19.
The Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap is on tap for this Saturday, August 20 (after being rescheduled) from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Horses three years old and upward will take to Saratoga's turf track and race one mile searching for the winner's portion of the $500,000 purse.
A field of 9 older turfers plus one Main Track Only entry have been confirmed for the Fourstardave Handicap on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes.
Tourist 5-2 - Bill Mott pupil won three straight races in the summer of 2014 including the minor Sir Cat Stakes at Saratoga in July and finished a good second in his graded stakes debut- the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington August 16, 2014. He went on to a thirteenth place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile and was forced out of action for 10 months. He returned to action September 5 and won the minor More Than Ready Mile by 3 3/4 lengths at Kentucky Downs and followed that with a respectable third in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile October 3. He posted a respectable second last time out in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita June 4 after a fourth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 7, an OK third in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile and an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Tourist has been a tad tough to figure out and will be after his first win in 11 months from gate 6. Joel Rosario has the mount on the competitive tepid morning line favorite.
Ring Weekend 3-1 - returned from a 14 month layoff May 21 for trainer Graham Motion and finished a very respectable second in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico. Before the layoff he won the 2015 Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita and had wins in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes in September, 2014 and the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes a month later. He also had an uncharacteristic sixth three starts back in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby in October, 2014. Ring Weekend has five wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 15 career starts and has three wins and two seconds in his last six starts overall. He has been impressive when healthy and hopes for his first win since March, 2015 in just his second start since that race. Jockey John Velazquez will try to accomplish that goal from the outside gate 10 Saturday as the morning line second choice.
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Takeover Target 7-2 - Chad Brown trained colt makes his thirteenth career start Saturday having recorded five wins and two second place finishes so far. He made his graded stakes debut last July and finished a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes Invitational and followed that with a good win in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes in August, a sixth in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes in September, a nice 1 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park October 3 and a troubled fifth in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes January 9. Takeover Target has been a tad inconsistent since - a fourth last time out in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes at Belmont Park June 18 followed a career best win over Grand Arch and Ring Weekend in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico May 21, a second in the minor Danger's Hour Stakes at Aqueduct April 10 and a fourth in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf in February. He will be after his fourth graded stakes score and a strong bounce back Saturday when he leaves from gate 4 with Manuel Franco guiding the third betting choice.
Grand Arch 8-1 - defending champion in this race (he was second in 2014) finished a respectable third behind Tepin in the 2015 edition of the BC Mile and has just two starts since that race - a third in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico May 21 was followed by a disappointing dull sixth in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes last time out at Belmont Park June 18. Grand Arch posted a win in last year' Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile October 3 and in the 2015 Fourstardave Handicap so we know he can go fast. He now has seven wins, six seconds and eight third place finishes in 26 career starts, has placed in four of his last five races ahead of this week and is expected to be competitive again Saturday. Luis Saez will be in the irons hoping to bounce back off an uncharacteristic effort on arguably his favorite track - from post 5.
Force the Pass 8-1 - has four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 11 career starts for trainer Alan Goldberg - competitive every time out. He enters off consecutive seconds - behind King Kreesa in the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park July 16 and the Grade 3 Poker Stakes June 18 - both at Belmont Park. Before that were three straight third place finishes - the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes April 2, the Grade 2 Commonwealth Derby last September and the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in August. He had good wins in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational in July, 2015 and in his graded stakes debut - the $500,000 Grade 3 Penn Mile May 30 of last year as well. Force the Pass has been a factor in every race he's entered so far and should be again Saturday from post 9 with Jose Ortiz in the reins at an intriguing 8-1 odds.
Blacktype 10-1 - French bred Christophe Clement trained gelding has six wins, two seconds and five third place finishes in 19 career starts. He enters on the heels of a nice two race win streak - the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes last time out at Monmouth Park July 31 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park July 3. He placed in three of his four previous starts over the last year as well. Blacktype is in career best form and arrives off his biggest win to date. Junior Alvarado has been tabbed with keeping the streak going from gate 2.
A Lot 12-1 - Chad Brown trained colt had three good runner-up finishes in graded stakes action in 2015 - the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes in January, the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in May and the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes in August and has been up and down since. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park June 11 after a good win in the minor Elusive Quality Stakes on that track in August, a seventh in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes in February and a pair of thirds in minor stakes action this past winter. He has placed in 10 of his last 12 starts overall but has failed to hit the board in two of his last three. He tries for his first graded stakes score Saturday from gate 2 with Javier Castellano aboard.
King Kreesa 15-1 - nine time stakes winner and defending fourth place finisher in this race had a two race win streak last summer - the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes July 11 and the Grade 3 Poker Stakes. He has been OK recently - a win last time out in the Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park June 16 followed a fifth in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes on that track June 18, a second in the minor Kingston Stakes here May 30, a fourth in the minor Elusive Quality Stakes April 30 and a second in the minor West Point Stakes August 28. King Kreesa has placed in just two of his last five starts overall but off a minor stakes score could be a threat. Irad Ortiz has will try to make it two wins in a row when King Kreesa leaves from post 7.
Reporting Star 20-1 - Elizabeth Voss trained gelding has been up and down in his career. He won the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes three starts back at Gulfstream April 2, the minor El Prado Stakes in December and the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at 15-1 odds at Woodbine August 23. He also posted a second in the Florida Sunshine Millions Turf back in January (his second straight runner-up finish in that race). Sprinkled in there are some poor results as well including a sixth last time out in the Grade 3 Red Barn Stakes at Monmouth Park June 5, an eighth two starts back in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 7 and consecutive fifths in Grade 1 races last fall. Reporting Star has shown form in the past but is a tad tough to figure out. He will leave from the rail Saturday hoping to gain a little consistency with Kendrick Carmouche in the saddle.
Weekend Hideaway 4-1 - Main Track Only Entry has posted six minor stakes wins in his career but no graded stakes scores. Two of those minor stakes scores came earlier this year - the Affirmed Success Stakes April 29 and the Commentator Stakes in May - both at Belmont Park. Last time out was a fourth in the minor John Morrissey Stakes on this track July 28. He now has 10 wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 32 career starts and may line up in gate 8 with Luis Saez aboard.
Race 9 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:40 PM.
|1||King Kreesa||12-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||David Donk|
|2||Grand Arch||6-1||Luis Saez||Brian Lynch|
|3||Reporting Star||20-1||Kendrick Carmouche||Elizabeth Voss|
|4||Force the Pass||8-1||Jose Ortiz||Alan Goldberg|
|5||Blacktype (FR)||10-1||Joe Bravo||Christophe Clement|
|6||Ring Weekend||3-1||John Velazquez||H. Motion|
|7||A Lot||10-1||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|8||Tourist||5-2||Joel Rosario||William Mott|
|9||Takeover Target||9-2||Manuel Franco||Chad Brown|
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