Fourstardave was a Saratoga legend, winning eight years running at the Spa (1987-94), including two iterations of the race that now bears his name, Saturday’s $500,000 Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap, for three-year-olds and up over a mile on turf. This year’s renewal is a tight, talented affair full of deja vu.

The 2019 winner and last year’s runner-up Got Stormy (10-1) is just one of the usual suspects that include 2019 runner-up Raging Bull (9-5) and last year’s third Casa Creed (4-1), and the web of collateral form is stickily impenetrable. Raging Bull has tried and failed twice to win the Fourstardave, and with the dual problems of the inside post and top weight is passed over again.

Trainer Chad Brown also has Blowout (6-1) at the other end of the gate. This consistent front-running mare is 0-3 at Saratoga but arrives on the back of victory in the Grade 2 Turf Mile at Churchill Downs, in which Got Stormy was a lacklustre fifth; another loop in the collateral form. Then there’s Set Piece (5-2), last-time-out winner of the Grade 2 Wise Dan at Churchill Downs, with Field Pass (8-1) a close-up fourth in a bunched finish.

Casa Creed, like Got Stormy, has mixed it up between a mile and sprint trips and won over track and trip in 2019; and don’t forget about Daddy Is A Legend (20-1), who takes on males for the first time after chasing home the starry pair Althiqa and Summer Romance in the Grade 1 Just A Game at Belmont.

This is not a race to empty the pockets on, as you could pick four and still not hit the board, but the Mark Casse-trained Got Stormy – a daughter of 2010 Fourstardave winner Get Stormy – has an affinity for the Spa and her best form, if she can bring it, could well be enough for victory.

Here are the odds to win the Fourstardave Handicap (G1T):

HorseJockeyOdds courtesy of JazzSports
RAGING BULLIrad Ortiz Jr.+180
WHISPER NOTJose L. Ortiz+2000
DADDY IS A LEGENDManuel Franco+2000
CASA CREEDJunior Alvarado+400
SET PIECEFlorent Geroux+250
GOT STORMYTyler Gaffalione+1000
FIELD PASSRicardo Santana Jr.+800
BLOWOUTJoel Rosario+600

G2 Saratoga Special

The supporting feature, the $200,000 Grade 2 Saratoga Special for two-year-olds over six and a half furlongs on the main track, has drawn a big field of promising colts, but one who has already put down a first instalment on his promise is Double Thunder (6-1), unbeaten in two including the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs latest.

The son of Super Saver started badly and finished brilliantly under the twin spires, trailing the field until producing a prodigious burst of speed turning for home, before drawing off to win by four and three-quarter lengths (Glacial (15-1) third, Red Run (30-1) fifth). That was a very impressive showing, and it leaves his rivals playing catch-up.

His stablemate Midnight Worker (10-1) won at the Spa on his debut, while others with course form are Dance Code (15-1) and Ottoman Empire (15-1), well-beaten third and fourth in the Grade 3 Sanford here last month, and Stolen Base (8-1), a winner here on his debut just three weeks ago.

Comfortable Belmont winner Doctor Jeff (2-1) may be a big player, as could Nakatomi (8-1), a Keeneland winner before a no-show performance at Royal Ascot on fast turf, and High Oak (12-1), a narrow winner at Belmont on his only start. One or more of them may indeed win the catch-up game, but Double Thunder has the call for now.

Here are the odds to win the Saratoga Special (G2):

HorseJockeyOdds courtesy of JazzSports
NAKATOMIJavier Castellano+800
GUNITERicardo Santana Jr.+500
OTTOMAN EMPIREDylan Davis+1500
KITODANChantal Sutherland+3000
MIDNIGHT WORKERIrad Ortiz Jr.+1000
STOLEN BASEJose L. Ortiz+800
DOUBLE THUNDERJohn R. Velazquez+600
DOCTOR JEFFJoel Rosario+200
DANCE CODEJose Lezcano+1500
GLACIALTyler Gaffalione+1500
HIGH OAKJunior Alvarado+1200
RED RUNManuel Franco+3000

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