Uni Takes on Boys in Fourstardave
Courtesy of Aaron Halterman of the Racing Dudes
A solid field of ten is set to contest the latest running of the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. Saturday’s headlining race will be televised on NBC Sports, with coverage starting at 5:00 PM ET.
Like always, trainer Chad Brown holds an extremely strong hand at Saratoga on the turf. The first of which is the mare, Uni, who will be taking on the boys in this spot. The 5-year-old has won five straight coming into this event, including a win here in last year’s De La Rose Stakes. She also seems to be a mile specialist, with all five of those victories coming at this distance. Brown also sends out Raging Bull in this spot after he finished third in the Manhattan Stakes (G1) last time out. Last year, he won both of his Saratoga starts, which came in the Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) and the Saranac Stakes (G3).
The winner of the Fourstardave Handicap will receive an automatic position in the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Here is a look at the full field:
#1 March to the Arch – This improving horse pulled off a nice upset two races back in the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, the biggest win of his career. Last time out, he was fifth in the Forbidden Apple Stakes (G3) while making up quite a bit of ground down the stretch. With more pace projected here, he could become a major player.
#2 Dr. Edgar – After running well in three straight Grade 3 events, Dr. Edgar will step up in competition here. He started the year off with a win in the Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park before finishing second in the Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park. Last time out, he nearly pulled off another win in the Poker Stakes, coming up just short and losing by a head. His plan will likely be to go straight to the lead and try to take this field wire to wire.
#3 Uni – A female taking on the boys is always a major storyline in racing, especially when she has a major shot at winning. She is five-for-six at this distance and is riding a five-race win streak. Last time out, she made her 2019 debut in the Perfect Sting Stakes at Belmont Park and dominated her competition with ease. She is in top form.
#4 Raging Bull – He is winless in three starts this year, though all came in Grade 1 events. Last time out, he was a fast-closing third in the Manhattan Stakes (G1), running within 2 1/4 lengths of Bricks and Mortar. Last year at Saratoga, this horse was flawless, winning both the Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) and the Saranac Stakes (G2). He also has two wins at this mile distance.
#5 Ostilio – This entry gives the race some international flavor. The Godolphin owned colt will make his United States debut after a couple of poor efforts to start this season. However, he did win four times in 2018, including Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Qatar P. Daniel Wildenstein Stakes (G2) at Longchamp to end his season. He is also a mile specialist and had never finished worse than second in nine starts coming into 2019.
#6 Got Stormy – It turns out that Uni will not be the only female taking on the boys in this spot. Got Stormy will do the same after winning the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes just one week ago. This is a quick turnaround, but there is no doubting that she ran a strong race last time out over this track. The jump up in competition will be stiff, which is her biggest question mark.
#7 Krampus – Three races back, this horse won the Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, the biggest of his career. Since that effort, he has lost two straight stakes events, including last time out in the Poker Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park, where he finished third. Bill Mott and Junior Alvarado have teamed up for a few nice wins at Saratoga this meet, so perhaps they can do it again with Krampus.
#8 Hembree – This horse has shown up with a strong effort in each of his five starts this season. He won the El Prado Stakes at Gulfstream Park to kick off the year, then ran fourth in the Canadian Turf Stakes (G3). After that, he was a runner-up in three straight, including against several of these foes in the Poker Stakes (G3) and the Forbidden Apple Stakes (G3) over this track.
#9 Made You Look – This is the third Chad Brown entry in the race, after Uni and Raging Bull. Last year, he was fourth in this race, losing to nice horses by only a few lengths. This year, he has only one race under his belt, the Forbidden Apple Stakes (G3), where he finished fourth. That race was contested over a yielding course, though, which is not a surface that he prefers. If he gets solid ground this time, look for an improved performance.
#10 Gidu – Speed is the name of the game for Gidu, who will look to fly out of the gate and go straight to the front. Two races back, he picked up a win over Annals of Time going a mile in an allowance/optional claiming event at Belmont Park. Annals of Time came back to win by open lengths at Saratoga last time out, which bodes well for Gidu. Last time out, he faded when setting the pace, but that race was over yielding turf. He could run much better if he gets firm ground in this spot.
The Fourstardave serves as one of three Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” events this Saturday. The other races are the Beverly D. Stakes (G1) and the Arlington Million (G1), both of which will be contested at Arlington Park and feature superstar horses who could end up making a major impact on the Breeders’ Cup this November. The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue on August 17th at Del Mar with the running of the Del Mar Handicap and TVG Pacific Classic.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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