Regal Glory will take on males for the first time in Saturday’s $500,000 Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course.
The 38th running of the Fourstardave will be contested at a mile on the inner turf course. The race drew a smallish field of five for the feature race on the 11-race card. Post time for the Fourstardave is 6:13 p.m. Eastern as Race 10.
The 6-year-old mare has beaten some of the best in her division in three starts this year and will qualify for the Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 5 at Keeneland with a victory in the Fourstardave.
The chestnut daughter of Animal Kingdom has won over three different turf courses during 2022. She won the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational at Gulfstream in January. She followed up the Pegasus win with a one-length victory in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April at Keeneland. She enters off a win in the Grade 1 Just a Game on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard.
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Eclipse-winning conditioner Chad Brown is is confident coming into the race based on her history over the Saratoga turf course.
“She’s having a great year – the best year of her career. At age 6, she’s been a pleasant surprise,” Brown said. “She’s in great form and she’s run well at Saratoga before so that gives me a lot of confidence.”
The Fourstardave will be broadcast on FS1 and the entire card can be viewed on the Fox Sports Networks during the day. FS1 will broadcast from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., FS2 will cover the 3 to 6 p.m. time period, reverting back to FS1 for the final hour of the broadcast.
Here’s a look at the entries for the Fourstardave (post position, horse, trainer, jockey, ML odds in parenthesis):
1 – Casa Creed (Mott, Luis Saez, 5-2). Third-place finisher in last year’s edition stretches out after winning the Grade 1 Jaipur last out on the Belmont undercard at six furlongs. Is only 2-for-13 at the mile distance, but son of Jimmy Creed is a talented horse. Hall of Famer trainer Bill Mott wins at a 24% clip after winning his last race with a horse. In the mix.
2 – Front Run the Fed (Caramori, Ortiz Jr., 10-1). Comes in off non-graded stakes win at Colonial Downs in a turf sprint. Has competed in graded stakes in the past, but seems to be a notch behind the top contenders in this race. Irad Ortiz Jr. will need some pace to close in to if he is to hit the board. Looking elsewhere.
3 – Regal Glory (Brown, Ortiz, 6-5). Animal Kingdom mare has been nothing short of fantastic in her 6-year-old season. Faces boys for the first time, but she is deadly at the distance and her speed figures have improved all year long. The one to beat.
4 – Masen (Brown, Prat, 2-1). Other Chad in the race comes off a win in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont after winning a non-graded stake during the spring meeting. Son of Kingman has been successful since coming across the pond racing in the Juddmonte silks. Top jock Flavien Prat is aboard and looks like a Chad exacta is brewing. Contender.
5 – Get Smokin (Casse, Castellano, 8-1). Son of Get Stormy runs back after an opening day fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple. Javier Castellano has been firing during the meet and trainer Mark Casse has saddled distaffer Got Stormy to two wins (2019 and 2021) in this race. Yet to win this year, but should capture a placing in this short field.
Post Time Outlook: 1 –Regal Glory; 2 – Casa Creed 3 – Masen
Also, on Saturday’s card is the Grade 2 Saratoga Special for 2-year-old colts that has produced some solid future stars in the past. In the recent past dual classic winner Exaggerator (2015), superstar Jackie’s Warrior (2020) and Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags (2011) have won the 6 1/2-furlong race.
A short field of five juveniles will go in Race 4 at 2:47 p.m. on the main track at Saratoga.
In the Special, Gulfport (4-5) looks like the one to beat. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, the son of Uncle Mo will be ridden by Joel Rosario. He comes off a 12-length victory on the Fourth of July at Churchill Downs in the $175,000 Bashford Manor.
His biggest challenge looks to come from the impressive maiden winner Damon’s Mound (7-5), who won two days earlier at Churchill by the same 12-length margin in his debut race. Gabe Saez will ship in to ride the son of Girvin.
Only one runner who ran in the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes during opening weekend at the Spa returns. Valenzan Day (12-1) will look to rebound from his ninth-place finish.
Post Time Outlook: 1 – Gulfport; 2 – Damon’s Mound; 3 – Valenzan Day
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.