How to Bet the Fourstardave Handicap
By SCOTT SHAPIRO
The headliner on Saturday’s 11-race card at Saratoga is the Fourstardave Handicap (G1). The $500,000 event conducted at one-mile over the inner turf is named after the New York bred that won at least one race at the Spa from 1987 to 1994 under the care of trainer Leo O’Brien.
The 2018 Fourstardave drew a compact group of seven if you include main track only entrant #1 Weekend Hideaway. The likely field of six lacks quantity, but is a competitive rendition nonetheless.
#5 Heart to Heart is listed as the 2-1 choice by odds maker David Aragona. The seven-year-old son of English Channel has won 15-of-36 and is a perfect two-for-two over this course. The Ontario-bred is beatable if he does not have things his way on the front end, but when he is able to control the early tempo he is extremely tough to get by in the lane. With #6 Voodoo Song also entered in the Saturday feature, it appears Heart to Heart will have to earn it on Saturday afternoon if he wants to remain undefeated in Saratoga Springs.
Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott is off to a strong start to the Saratoga meeting and sends out #7 Yoshida. The four-year-old colt won his first start of 2018 over a yielding going in the Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day and was then shipped to Great Britain to race in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June where he finished fifth beaten just 1 ¼ lengths. I respect this son of Heart’s Cry quite a bit but am not sure if the mile distance is ideal for him. He likely prefers a bit more ground.
The same can be said for #3 Divisdero who is cross-entered for the Arlington Million (G1) but will opt to race in the Fourstardave according to connections. The son of Kitten’s Joy comes off a win at 1 3/16 miles versus Grade 3 foes and may be running on late, but the eight-furlong distance is shorter than he prefers. He also may be tailing off a bit in his six-year-old campaign for Kelly Rubley, who took over training duties before he raced for the initial time this calendar year.
With Heart to Heart and Voodoo Song likely to keep each other honest on the front end and Yoshida and Divisdero racing at a distance that seems too short, that leaves us with a pair of 4-1-shots on the morning line in #2 Delta Prince and #4 Made You Look.
Delta Prince makes the second start of the year for trainer James Jerkens after a 1 ¾-length victory in the King Edward Stakes (G2) at Woodbine on June 30. The son of Street Cry has won four-of-eight career races, including a win and a third in two tries over the Saratoga lawn. He comes into the race off of a strong five-furlong drill in 1:00.1 on August 6 and should sit a lovely ground saving trip just off the early leaders. He is a must use.
Made You Look ran second to Oscar Performance in the Poker (G3) on June 17 at Belmont Park and makes his third start off the layoff for trainer Chad Brown. He has earned back-to-back triple digit BRIS Speed ratings, including a career best 104 last time out. He has struggled to get out of the gates in a number of his starts, but if he can avoid leaving himself with too much to do late he could get the best of this field in the lane. It is worth noting Made You Look loses Castellano to Delta Prince. Luis Saez takes the call.
$15 Exacta Box: 2-4 = $30