A well-matched field of 10, including a pair of sharp females, will go one mile on the Saratoga inner turf in Saturday’s $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1). The grassy feature boasts a solid cast that lacks a confirmed standout, which will make for a very good betting opportunity.
Gidu looks to be the swiftest horse from the gate, but Dr. Edgar and import Ostilio both possess fine early foot. The pace should be sharp early on, and it could benefit the deeper closers in the field like Uni, Raging Bull and Hembree. I will key my wagers with the latter.
$10 Win and Place #8 Hembree = $20
$1 Trifecta Key 8 with 1,3,4,5,9 with all = $40
Here is the field:
MARCH TO THE ARCH (#1) (10-1) – Gelded son of Arch draws inside and looks to pick up his initial Grade 1 trophy in here. Four-year-old bay impressed with a nice tally in the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs two back, prior to a closing fifth in the Forbidden Apple Stakes (G3) on this lawn over a yielding course. Late runner rates a chance at a nice price.
DR. EDGAR (#2) (6-1) – Consistent gelding has been first or second in eight of his last 10 performances for Barclay Tagg. Chestnut has fine early foot and has nice form coming in, including a score in the Appleton (G3) three back. Contender smoked a bullet on the Saratoga turf in advance of this assignment.
UNI (#3) (5-2) – Classy mare is one of three for Chad Brown in the field and rides in on a five-race win streak overall. More Than Ready mare is a sterling five-for-five at one mile and should improve in her second run of 2019. Joel Rosario will bring the morning-line choice from off the pace on this occasion.
RAGING BULL (#4) (3-1) – Grade 1 star with a big turn of foot exits a closing third in the Manhattan Stakes (G1) over yielding going at Belmont Park. Dark Angel colt is a two-time graded winner at this venue and comes in fresh while donning blinkers for the second time. The robust closer will have Jose Ortiz up.
OSTILIO (#5) (10-1) – Euro import has been unplaced from a pair of tries in 2019 but figures to show big improvement in his U.S. debut. Speedy son of New Approach faced a stiff test at Newbury last time in the Lockinge Stakes (G1) and faces a more reasonable assignment today. Godolphin homebred will be forwardly placed from the opening bell.
GOT STORMY (#6) (6-1) – Mark Casse-trained filly rolled home an emphatic, four-length heroine on the Del La Rose Stakes here last week and is wheeled back for this test. Chestnut filly has tactical speed combined with a strong turn of foot and will get first run on the deep closers in this spot. Ricardo Santana Jr. inherits the mount.
KRAMPUS (#7) (20-1) – Son of Shakespeare makes his Saratoga debut for Bill Mott coming off a head defeat in the Poker Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. Grade 3 victor has yet to prove capable of handling this type of opposition, but he did move forward with blinkers most recently. Five-year-old can factor late with continued improvement under Junior Alvarado.
HEMBREE (#8) (8-1) – Dangerous late runner will get a swift pace to rally into at square odds for conditioner Mike Maker. Grade 2 winner has fine current form, and the son of Proud Citizen is capable over any type of turf surface. Five-year-old had a nice local prep for today when a rallying second in the Forbidden Apple (G3) last time out. Luis Saez has the call.
MADE YOU LOOK (#9) (10-1) – The third of the Chad Brown trio was fourth in this race in 2018 and looms a danger making just his second run since. Five-year-old son of More Than Ready faces a less demanding field this campaign and might be the value of the cast with expected improvement second time back. Contender gets a rider change to Jose Lezcano.
GIDU (#10) (15-1) – Fleet son of Frankel draws widest and will try to lead this field all the way around the oval for Todd Pletcher. Gray colt is winless at Saratoga and will need a lifetime-best showing to have a chance late against this group. Manny Franco will be in the stirrups.
PHOTO: Hembree (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Kenny Martin