SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Overcoming a substantial weight disadvantage, Horse of the Year Wise Dan won the Grade II Fourstardave for the second year in a row, closing in the stretch to pass King Kreesa.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Wise Dan took his customary position inside, then cut outside to find running room and win by 1 1/4 lengths.
The crowd of 31,894 gave him a standing ovation when he returned to the winner's circle.
Carrying 129 pounds, he spotted each of his five rivals at least 11 pounds.
"I was worried about that frontrunner," a relieved trainer Charlie LoPresti said. "When he cruised up to him on equal terms, he had so much horse he just went right on by him. I know that horse of ours has a great kick. And he proved he's a great horse today."
"I know my horse is a fighter," Velazquez said. "It was awesome. It was a much tougher race than last year. But my horse still did it, and with a lot of weight on top of him, too."
Wise Dan won the Fourstardave by five lengths last year in what became a campaign of mile turf stakes that led to a win in the Breeders' Cup Mile and three Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year, turf male and older male.
He has won all four starts this year.