08/09/2013 5:24PM

Steven Crist's Saratoga graded stakes analysis: Fourstardave Handicap


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With the weather uncertain and Friday’s turf racing at Saratoga scrapped after heavy overnight rains, there’s no telling how the course will play Saturday for Wise Dan’s appearance in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap.

Firm, yielding, or soft, however, it’s tough to see the 2012 Horse of the Year losing to a modest field, even while carrying 129 pounds, 11 to 14 more than the opposition.

The 6-year-old gelding has won his last seven starts, over six different turf courses, starting with last year’s Fourstardave, which he won by five lengths on a yielding course. Last time out, he beat Lea, the second morning-line choice in here, by two lengths over a yielding Churchill Downs course while carrying 128 pounds to Lea’s 117. A one-pound increase here does not alone argue for a reversal.

If I were trying to beat him, I would look for someone to wire the field in front of him, not someone who’s going to outfinish him from behind. The obvious candidate under that scenario is King Kreesa, a front-running winner of the Kingston and the Grade 3 Poker in his last two starts. Last September, he just missed pulling off an upset in the Grade 1 Jamaica at 23-1 over a soft course that was mislabeled “good.”

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therealdubwhite More than 1 year ago
It would be interesting to see Wise Dan actually step up in class more than once or twice a year to take on the very best of the turf division at a route of ground. Its becoming HoHum to see him continue to take down allowance quality horses over and over again. This is getting boring and not much fun to watch. Reminds me of the campaigns of the 2010 Horse of the Year. #Pathetic.
raymond More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan will have no problem picking off this field one by one as he makes it another win for my man Charlie LoPresti
Albert More than 1 year ago
Three of these horses can win by the numbers: Wise Dan, Lea and Za Approval in that order. Wise Dan has about a 2 length advantage over Lea, who has another length over Za. Those are big gaps in horse racing at this level, but the door is open to beating the favorite. The other horses in the race can pick up a piece, but none of them have a shot at winning.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of King Kreesa and have cashed on him but would be surprised if he can Hold off Wise Dan. HOY has them at a class disadvantage alone the field is mostly Grade III Caliber
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Rock Chalk More than 1 year ago
I happen to agree with Mr Crist's assessment. Just like Soul House in race 7, trying to find a better closer is most likely a losing proposition. Hence the suggestion of playing a front-runner. King Kreesa is the absolute speed of the speed here. Oh, and your comment was really stupid. Please try to add something beneficial to the discussion or just pass on by.
noocheroni More than 1 year ago
Rock Chalk More than 1 year ago
So, a horse with 20 career starts - having NEVER led at any point of call - is going to wire this field? No.
raymond More than 1 year ago
Are you delusional?