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2012 Fourstardave Handicap

Wise Dan and John Velazquez return after the 2012 Fourstardave Handicap

Whitney Handicap from Saturday

Date: 08/11/2012

The feature race on Saturday at Saratoga was the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G2) for older horses going 1 mile on the inner turf course. The 26,782 fans on hand braved rain through the day and temperatures in the low 80's, downgrading the turf to yielding. A field of 7 went to post, with Ben Ali (G3) winner Wise Dan sent off as the 3-2 favorite off his close second place finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1). In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Corporate Jungle, fifth in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) last out, and 7-2 third choice Get Stormy off his second place finish in the Monmouth Stakes (G2).

The horses break from the gate for the Fourstardave

Jockey Eddie Castro sent Get Stormy to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.88, 48.64, and 1:13.32 while stalked by 14-1 Surfrider and favorite Wise Dan, who struck the left side of the starting gate after lunging at the start. Get Stormy continued to lead to the 1/8 pole but tired, as Wise Dan easily passed him on the inside, drawing off to win by 5 lengths over late-running Corporate Jungle in a time of 1:37.30 over the yielding course. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to pacesetter Get Stormy third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 2   Wise Dan           Velazquez     5.00    3.30  2.40
 7   Corporate Jungle   Castellano            4.00  2.90
 3   Get Stormy         Castro                      3.00

Winning Time:  1:37.30

$2 Exacta 2-7                17.80
$2 Trifecta 2-7-3            43.80
$2 Superfecta 2-7-3-4       106.50
Results Chart

Left: Wise Dan in the winner's circle. Trainer Charles Lopresti said, "I guess the soft turf didn't bother him! It's always a concern when he's never run on soft turf like that. I was a little concerned, but Johnny said he wasn't a bit worried. When I saw him down on the inside, backing up a little bit, I thought, 'Oh, boy.' But Johnny said he had so much horse he could have pulled the trigger any time. He's really confident in the horse. He's done a great job with him. It worked out great. I wasn't worried if it came off the turf, because he likes the mud. He's just a neat horse. He loves to run. I've been around a lot of nice horses, but he's just a really nice horse."

Right: The trophy presentation for the Fourstardave. Jockey John Velazquez said, "I think he's incredible. For him to win on dirt, Polytrack, and grass – soft turf – I am very impressed with him. He's never been on (soft ground). Charles always had that in the back of his head – is he going to handle it? I guess he handled it today. He has done everything so well. Whatever Mr. Lopresti decides to do with him, I am going with him. This horse is doing incredible. I was not surprised with the way he ran in the stretch. He was going so well. As soon as I let his head go, he responded really well and took off."

Left: Wise Dan in the paddock. Jockey John Velazquez added, "It's ironic I come here to win the race (named for Fourstardave), who (my father-in-law) Leo O'Brien trained and won many races with. It stays in the family."

Right: Wise Dan heads out for the post parade. Trainer Charles Lopresti added, "I have a lot of options. I know he likes this dirt track now. So maybe, 10 days, we may breeze him over it, and maybe Woodward or the Woodbine Mile. He ran a great race in the Stephen Foster; just got beat a head, no disgrace. I think if he can win a Grade 1 on the dirt, people will start to recognize this horse as one of the top horses on the East coast. Not too many horses can win on synthetic, grass, and a Grade 1 on the dirt. We'll let the horse tell us."

Left: Second place finisher Corporate Jungle heads out to the track. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a beautiful trip. I know the winner was much the best horse, and he had a dream trip. At the same time I tried to get the jump on the winner but the winner had the rail open up and he took off. I think he was the best horse in the race, but I am not disappointed in my horse. He showed up and ran a great race."

Right: Third place finisher Get Stormy heads out for the post parade. The 7-2 third choice set the early pace under jockey Eddie Castro, but tired late to finish third beaten 7 lengths. The Thomas Bush trainee improved his record to 11 wins, 5 seconds, and 4 thirds in 31 starts, earning $1,606,812 for owner-breeder Mary Sullivan (Sullimar Stable).

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