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Saratoga: Wise Dan draws rail again for Fourstardave
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Wise Dan won the 2012 Fourstardave Handicap from post 1, and if he’s going to successfully defend his title Saturday, he’ll do it breaking from the rail once again.
Wise Dan drew post 1 in a field of seven turf specialists set to go one mile over the inner turf in the Grade 2 Fourstardave. The reigning Horse of the Year will carry a staggering 129-pound impost, conceding 11 to 14 pounds to his rivals.
The competition, in post-position order, is Skyring (118), Za Approval (118), Mr. Commons (117), Willyconker (115), King Kreesa (117), and Lea (117).
John Velazquez negotiated a winning trip for Wise Dan from post 1 last year and does not seem too concerned about having to do it again Saturday.
“It’s nothing I’m going to worry about,” Velazquez said. “We were down there the whole way last year. That’s where he likes to be anyway, and I think it’s a little easier going from the inside than the outside because he gets too rank from the outside. I will study the race, see who I want to follow and who not to follow, and we’ll go from there.”
Velazquez said he hopes carrying 129 pounds is not an issue for Wise Dan and that the only one with a problem will be the valet carrying his lead-packed saddle to the paddock for the Fourstardave.
“He carried 128 on a bad track at Churchill Downs and won, so I just hope it’s not too much weight with the difference back to the others,” Velazquez said. “I haven’t even looked at who might be the best horse in there that’s carrying less weight. If there’s a decent horse in the race with a lot less weight, then it’s a concern.”
Sharp work for Discreet Marq
Discreet Marq, who has won both her starts, including the Grade 2 Sands Point, since joining trainer Christophe Clement’s stable this year, worked a bullet five furlongs over the Oklahoma turf course here Wednesday as she prepares for her next start, which could come in the Grade 2 Lake Placid on Aug. 18.
“She had a nice work this morning, and I’ll speak to Mr. and Mrs. Generazio, then make a decision where she’ll go next,” Clement said. “We have two choices, either the Lake Placid or the Del Mar Oaks. I will leave it up to them.”
The Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks will be run Aug. 17. Discreet Marq, a New York-bred, is a homebred daughter of Discreet Cat owned by Patricia and Frank Generazio.
Clement also said his graded stakes winner Summer Front is not far from returning to action after suffering a minor setback following his victory in Calder’s Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap in April.
“He’s on his way back; we’re getting closer,” Clement said. “He took a wrong step at the end of the race at Calder, so I just gave him some time, nothing serious. He’s training well, and we’ll have to start thinking about looking for a race in two or three weeks.”
Orb to arrive Sunday
Kentucky Derby winner Orb is scheduled to arrive at Saratoga on Sunday after having one more workout at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland for the $1 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 24.
Trainer Shug McGaughey initially thought about bringing Orb here earlier this week but decided that since the horse is doing so well at Fair Hill, he would keep him there for his last major work for the Travers. Orb then will have one final easy work at Saratoga five or six days before the race.
“We just decided, instead of bringing him up in the middle of the week and galloping a couple of days and work, to just go on and complete our major works there [and] bring him up here on his off day,” McGaughey said. “Then we’d have a week for him to acclimate before we breezed him and then another week after that. We felt like we were getting so much done, and he was improving so quickly down there, that let’s don’t change things.”
Orb, who finished fourth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes, shipped to Fair Hill on June 10, the day after the Belmont. He spent some time in the hyperbaric chamber at Fair Hill as well as in cold-water spa treatments.
“He was allowed to be a horse again, get turned out in the mornings in a round pen, and we were able to spend a lot of time with him,” McGaughey said. “We were able to put him in that cold-water spa. Also, the aqua treadmill helped build him up behind.”
Wired Bryan, Twang aim for Special
Satisfied with how his horse has bounced out of his victory in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes three weeks ago, trainer Michael Dilger confirmed Wednesday that Wired Bryan will run back in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special at 6 1/2 furlongs.
“It was a nice work last Sunday; the horse is in good form,” Dilger said. “Back in 21 days, which is right there on the borderline. We’re happy with the way he’s doing, and we’ll take our chance. We thought he was a little bit ahead of the curve for his last race, and we’re hoping he still has that edge.”
Also confirmed for the Special on Wednesday was Twang, who won a maiden race here by 3 1/4 lengths July 27.
“He came out of the race fine,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said. “He’s a strong horse, short field, we’re going to take a shot.”
Also under consideration for the Special are debut winners Candy Dandy, Corfu, Danza, Lunarwarfare, and Mr. Viber.
◗ Jockey Robby Albarado began a seven-day suspension Wednesday for an incident at Mountaineer last weekend. Albarado rode Jasizzle to a 7 3/4-length victory in the Sen. Robert Byrd Memorial, but his horse veered into Russell Road at the break. Albarado is eligible to return Aug. 14.
◗ Guillermo Rodriguez was to begin a 17-day suspension Friday due to a pair of careless-riding infractions at Finger Lakes, according to his agent, Jose Henriquez.
– additional reporting by David Grening
King Kressa ? Cmon people .
Wise Dan's odds are gonna be so short, you'll probably be better off betting someone else across the board, even if he does win. But, personally, I think the Graveyard might be planning a coup on Wise Dan and gave the fans a couple warning shots. Both his siblings ran here already and not only did they both lose, Successful Dan almost killed himself throwing a fit in the paddock. The weather reports for Friday and Saturday have looked bad all week.
129 lbs? Let's get real wt. on the horse
Keep it simple, Dan over Lea over all for $50 tri
The turf course on Saturday is going to be good to soft. Since this is Saratoga, everybody wants to beat the favorite, you'll be able to get 3/5 or more on Wise Dan and it's a steal. Don't worry about King Kreesa. Wise Dan can track him simply jogging on softer going, he had experience tracking Obviously, Nate's Mineshaft, Sidney's Candy and the crack sprinter Hollywood Hit. His most serious threat will come from Lea who's 2 for 2 on the Saratoga inner turf, with a rider switch to Rosario. Brian Hernandez Jr. on Lea spent a lot of time keeping Wise Dan boxed in in the last race. He'll run much better this time if the rider let someone else worry about Wise Dan. He's probably much better on firm turf but I don't think the going on Saturday will be as soft as his last two starts on off turf at Churchill and Hawthorne. The wiseguy pick is Za Approval but he might scratch unless Christophe Clement decides to let him have another go on non-firm turf. The son of Ghostzapper is bred to love off going but he ran poorly in his two starts on less than firm going, though one of them was his first start and the other was a wide trip off a 5-month layoff. But there's just not much upside to him, he's a terrible pick compared to Lea. The best longshot play is Skyring. The son of English Channel is almost certain to relish off going. Willyconker and Mr. Common are complete toss-outs. John Sheriff and Eric Guillot are having an awful time placing their horses at Saratoga.
I'm not that interested in this race. Wise Dan wins. JV makes um all look like there riding at a rodeo. He's got a stranglehold on ALL mounts in the U.S.
Weight variant is huge key. I think Dan may have too much to overcome this time.? King Kresa. Love how ORB is progressing for Travers.
The horse worked 5 furlongs in :57 1/5. If you're going to try and beat him, good luck.
Again, I encourage everyone to read James Scully's Handicapper's Edge commentary on Wise Dan. It is right on!
King Kreesa- NY bred beats Horse of the Year