Wise Dan seeks 8th straight win in Saturday's Fourstardave Handicap - 08/08/13
When Wise Dan breaks from the rail in Saturday's Grade II Fourstardave Handicap he will be strapped with a whopping 129 pounds on his back, 11 pounds more than his next rival. The reigning Horse of the Year has won seven straight trips over the turf including a string of five Grade Is. The six-year-old gelding started this streak when we won last year's Fourstarsave. He broke from the rail then too. In the 2012 running, Wise Dan settled in a nice position down the back stretch and when the field turned for home, he found a seam along the fence and like a dart he was through and off to the wire for the win. Since then, he has been nothing short of spectacular.
Wise Dan likes to be a few lengths off the leader, but has shown the ability to come from a little farther back. His Breeders' Cup Mile victory, in my opinion, is the most impressive of his career. He took the lead and closed in less than :23. His final fractions during this latest win streak have been solid as well. It would have to be a perfect storm for others to win on Saturday I would think.
I do have two others on my radar for Saturday. Skyring and King Kreesa. If you remember, I had Skyring at 24-1 in the Grade II Dixie on Preakness Day at Pimlico. That is his only recent win, which is concerning, but he will be making his second start off a layoff. Last time out he disappointed in the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth last month. Skyring is also cutting back the distance which should be to his benefit. He should press the pace along with King Kreesa, the winner of the Grade III Poker Handicap last time out at Belmont.
King Kreesa, the New York Bred, has won two straight and has really improved from 2 years-old to three. His first start of 2013 was a show finish in the Grade III Appleton at Gulfstream Park. He has not finished worse than third yet this year. The pace scenario should shape up with King Kreesa and Skyring on the lead with Wise Dan just behind those two. Za Approval has shown the ability to close and things could set up nicely for him if there is a pace duel up front between King Kreesa and Skyring. Za Approval has also run and won at Saratoga last year. Lea is 2-for-2 over the inner turf at Saratoga, however those came in a Maiden and Optional Claimer. He figures to be in over his head from a class standpoint.
#1 - Wise Dan
#6 - King Kreesa
#2 - Skyring