The Fourstardave has a scheduled post time of 6:45 p.m. today to accommodate a live TV broadcast, but even that late start isn’t likely to afford enough time for the Saratoga Race Course turf to dry out.
Rain all day on Friday, which was expected to continue at night, wiped out all but the first grass race on Friday’s card.
It’s bad timing for the Grade II Fourstardave, which drew a nice field that includes a main-track-only who shoots to the favorite’s role, despite not having won a stakes race — Darley Stable’s Crossbow — if he runs.
There are three Grade I winners among the other eight who are entered, Data Link, Wise Dan and Get Stormy, who drew the three inside posts.
And breaking outside of Get Stormy is Guys Reward, who has won three straight, most recently the Grade II Firecracker on turf listed “good” at Churchill Downs.
“I think it’s all about the trip, and staying out of trouble and getting a good run,” Charles Lopresti, who trains Wise Dan, told the New York Racing Association. “There’s going to be a lot of speed in there, and I hope it will set up for our horse. He has a lot of tactical speed. He can do it both ways. That’s the good thing about him. He can race just off the pace and still make that run at the end. He doesn’t have to be a deep closer.”
Wise Dan was on a tremendous roll, having won the Fayette, Grade I Clark and the Ben Ali by 101⁄2 lengths before just missing by a head to Ron the Greek in the Grade I Stephen Foster.
Get Stormy is a three-time Grade I winner who loves Saratoga, having won four and finished second once in six starts.
He has lost to Data Link twice this year, in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile and the Grade II Monmouth.
“This is going to be a solid race, but he’s a solid horse,” Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said of Data Link. “It will be the kind of race where whoever gets the best trip will probably win. They’ll be cooking in this race, too, with Wise Dan, Get Stormy, and some others.”
Get Stormy pulled off the Fourstardave/Bernard Baruch double two years ago and was second to Turallure in the Bernard Baruch last year.
Mechanicville native Chad Brown trains Corporate Jungle, who had won three straight, including the Grade III Appleton, before finishing fifth in the Shoemaker Mile.
Guys Reward hasn’t finished off the board in six straight starts.
“It’s a tough spot, but he’s a good horse and an improving horse,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He’ll be all right. He ran big [in the Firecracker], and he’s gotten better and better the older he gets.”