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Aug 16, 2013

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-FOURSTARDAVE

By: JOE GIRARDI


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Over the weekend of August 10th-11th Saratoga hosted three stakes races, two on Sunday, August 11th for two year olds and one on August 10th, the Fourstardave that featured reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan.

               The Grade II Adirondack was the first two year old race, run over six and one-half furlongs for two year old fillies with a purse of $200,000. There was a field of six that went postward after the scratch of Untapable earlier in the day. The heavy favorite in the race was the previously undefeated Fiftyshadesofgold who was two for two with two huge wins, at Churchill Downs and Lone Star Park. When the gates opened, 12-1, Hop The Six was sent to the lead from the outside post but was quickly engaged from the inside by second choice, Who’s In Town who was coming off an impressive win in her debut at Delaware Park in mid-July. Those two battled through solid fractions of 21:3, 44:2 with Designer Legs looming on the outside in third while the favorite, Fiftyshadesofgold was in behind that wall of three. Into the lane, Who’s In Town still held the lead over Designer Legs with Fiftyshadesofgold trying to come up the inside. She had to check behind the leaders but then it looked like a hole opened up, she tried to get through but jockey Joel Rosario on Who’s In Town came in on her forcing her to check hard and losing all chance finally crossing the wire in fourth. There was a stewards inquiry into the stretch run and Who’s In Town who held on by a neck over Designer Legs was disqualified and placed fourth and 16-1 shot Designer Legs was declared the winner.

               In the next race, the Grade II Saratoga Special for two year olds run over six and one-half furlongs and it also carried a purse of $200,000. There was a field of seven that went postward with Candy Dandy going off as the even money favorite. As the gates opened, Corfu, a winner at 1-2 in his debut for Todd Pletcher was sent right to the lead and set some blazing fractions of 21:3, 44 flat while being chased by previously unbeaten Wired Bryan who was coming off a win in the Sanford stakes earlier in the meeting. Into the lane Corfu still held that advantage, Wired Bryan, was gradually gaining on that leader late by came up a nose short in a solid final time of 1:15:2, Danza, another Pletcher trainee was flying late to finish third just a half-length off the winner at 14-1. Candy Dandy, got a perfect trip in behind the leaders but came up empty in just his second career start and checked in a well beaten fifth.

               On Saturday, there was a buzz at Saratoga Racetrack as the Horse of the Year, Wise Dan was back to defend his title in the Fourstardave handicap. A Grade II event run over a mile on the turf and it carried a purse of $500,000. There was a field of six that went postward after Za Approval scratched out earlier in the day. Wise Dan breaking from post 1 was sent off as the 2-5 favorite with Lea, who finished second to Wise Dan last out at Churchill Downs the second choice at 9-2 and third New York bred King Kreesa sent off as the 3rd choice at 5-1. As the gates opened King Kreesa was sent right to the lead getting to the rail before the clubhouse turn and leading through fractions of 24:1, 47:2, 1:10:2. For the first half mile longshot, Skyring tracked that leader with Wise Dan tucked down inside racing in fourth. As they moved around the far turn, King Kreesa still held that lead as Wise Dan moved up and off the rail while Lea was struggling to keep up with the top two. Into the lane King Kreesa still had that lead but Wise Dan and jockey John Velazquez were bearing down. As they moved into the final furlong, Wise Dan still under a vigorous hand ride took over that lead and edged away to score by just more than a length while King Kreesa was a clear second and Lea checked in third in a good final time of 1:34 flat despite being run over soft ground. Wise Dan remained undefeated this year and has bigger things on the horizon. The New York bred King Kreesa did fellow New York bred Fourstardave proud with a very sharp second. He has earned almost $300,000 this year alone and is another that have a bright future ahead of him.



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