Fourstar Crook goes last to first in Flower Bowl Stakes
Courtesy of David Grening of DRF.com
ELMONT, N.Y. – Fourstar Crook got her much deserved Grade 1 victory on Sunday by outkicking her overmatched rivals and winning the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Stakes at Belmont Park.
Under Irad Ortiz Jr., Fourstar Crook was last of seven early, swung five wide turning for home, and then overtook her stablemate Onthemoonagain to win by two lengths. Onthemoonagain finished second by 4 3/4 lengths over Lady Montdore as trainer Chad Brown finished 1-2 in another Grade 1 turf stakes for females.
Following Lady Montdore, in order, were Danceland, Feeling Bossy, Tricky Escape, and Holy Helena.
Fourstar Crook, a 6-year-old New York-bred daughter of Freud, won for the 12th time in 19 starts. It was her first Grade 1 victory after running second to stablemate Sistercharlie in both the Jenny Wiley and Beverly D. this year. She also finished third in the E.P. Taylor a year ago.
“Age 6, hadn’t won a Grade 1 yet, seemed very deserving when you look at who she’s beaten when she’s not in Grade 1s and, when she’s in them, who she’s lost to by short margins,” Brown said. “This filly is very deserving to have a Grade 1 win under her belt. It’s remarkable at age 6 that she’s trained on and done so well. Mike Dubb and his partners have really done the right thing by this filly her whole career.”
Dubb, who owns Fourstar Crook with Mike Caruso’s Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith, sounded like a proud parent after the Flower Bowl.
“My goal would be to have a street in Saratoga named for her like Fourstardave,” said Dubb, referring to the New York-bred male who was so honored after winning a race in Saratoga for eight straight years.
“We can have the Fourstar intersection. She’s a race horse. These are the horses that really stand out above everybody else. She’s special.”
Ortiz said he was impressed with the late kick Fourstar Crook gave him considering the slow early pace of 51.72 seconds for the half and 1:15.80 for six furlongs. She was 7 1/2 lengths back after six furlongs.
“She flew home,” Ortiz said. “She was going so comfortable. When I asked her she just exploded.”
Fourstar Crook covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.28 over an inner turf course labeled “good” and returned $3.60 as the odds-on favorite.
Brown will bring a strong 1-2 punch to the Filly and Mare Turf with Sistercharlie, a three-time Grade 1 winner this year, and Fourstar Crook, who handed Sistercharlie her lone defeat this year in the Grade 2 New York Stakes here in June.
“The way she finished today she sure looks like a mile and three eighths won’t be a problem for her,” Brown said of Fourstar Crook. “We know that it’ll be a much deeper field, but she’s game and she’s not afraid to run against anybody, I’ll tell you that.”
Brown was also pleased with the performance by Onthemoonagain, noting that she probably prefers races at shorter distances with some pace in them run over firm ground.
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