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Blog - GAMBLING

Silver Max wins the 2013 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga. The horse is the morning-line favorite in the 2014 Fourstardave at Saratoga on Saturday. (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire)

The 30th running of the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap has considerable intrigue even though it only drew a field of six.

Silver Max has earned his last five wins leading from start to finish including the Grade 2 Firecracker Stakes in his most recent race and will undoubtedly be in front from the start trying to control the tempo in this race. Sayaad enters the race looking for his fourth straight win and like Silver Max has won on the Saratoga turf course previously.

Grand Arch just won the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes in Canada at this distance and could be formidable, while Jack Milton is trying to repeat his effort when winning the Grade 3 Poker Stakes in May. Seek Again won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby last December but is winless in two races since and Dorsett, winner of the Mystic Lake Derby last August, rounds out the field.

SEEK AGAIN WINS THE 2013 HOLLYWOOD DERBY

Seek Again

Although he won the Forbidden Apple Stakes leading from start to finish last month, Sayaad should be in the perfect stalking position behind pacesetter Silver Max from the onset of the Fourstardave and can run that one down in the final strides. Sayaad has won three straight races going back to last August at Saratoga at this identical one mile turf trip when taking the Dance of Life Stakes.

He earned a then-career-best 107 Equibase Speed Figure last summer, then a 109 figure in the fall before a career best 118 figure last month, which is as good as the best figure Silver Max has ever earned. Making his second start following a nine month-layoff, Sayaad should take another step forward and can add a Grade 2 victory to his resume in the Fourstardave.

Grand Arch just won a similar Grade 2 stakes at a mile on turf when victorious in the King Edward Stakes at Woodbine in Canada in June, earning a 106 speed figure in the process. Jockey David Moran was in the saddle for the first time that day and comes down to ride Grand Arch once more. Grand Arch ran the last quarter mile in 23.1 seconds in the King Edward, much faster than the 24.4 final quarter mile Silver Max ran in his Firecracker Stakes win in June, so Grand Arch has potential to win his second Grade 2 stakes in a row in the Fourstardave.

Silver Max has won half of his 24 career starts for over $1.9 million in earnings, including a win last summer at Saratoga in the Barnard Baruch Handicap. We all know where Silver Max will be during the running of a race as he insists on leading from the start and whether controlling the pace on faster-than-average fractions or slower-than-average fractions, he can be very tough to run down.

Coming off a win in the Firecracker Stakes in late June with a 110 figure and having earned 118 and 112 figures in two of his wins last year, Silver Max will be no surprise if he takes the Fourstardave. However, as the likely heavy favorite and with his best effort no better than three of the other five entrants, there are better opportunities for making win bets.

The rest of the Fourstardave field, with their best representative Equibase Speed Figures, is Dorsett (110), Jack Milton (117) and Seek Again (117).

My Selections:
Sayaad
Grand Arch
Silver Max

You can get Ellis' entire Saratoga Saturday selections and analysis at Equibase.com.

$500,000 Fourstardave Handicap

Saratoga, Saturday, Race 10, 6:10 p.m. ET

One mile on the turf for 3-year-olds and up

PP

Horse

A/S

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Silver Max (KY)

5/H

Robby Albarado

122

Dale Romans

2

Seek Again (KY)

4/C

Joel Rosario

121

Bill Mott

3

Jack Milton (KY)

4/C

Javier Castellano

119

Todd Pletcher

4

Dorsett (KY)

4/C

John Velazquez

115

Brian Lynch

5

Sayaad (KY)

4/C

Jose Ortiz

118

Kiaran McLaughlin

6

Grand Arch (KY)

5/G

David Moran

117

Brian Lynch

Tune in to Fox Sports 1 on Aug. 10 for the Saratoga Special Stakes
and on Aug. 17 for the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes.

The on-air duties will be handled by Greg Wolf, Richard Migliore, Andy Serling, Simon Bray, and Alyssa Ali. In conjunction with the broadcast, Racing 101's Joe Kristufek will be hosting a live fan TweetUP - @ABRLive #TJC Tour - beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

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Ellis Starr

National Racing Analyst for Equibase, Fan Education Specialist, Bettor, Magister of Equine Prognostication (Handicapper).

Image Description

Ellis Starr

National Racing Analyst for Equibase, Fan Education Specialist, Bettor, Magister of Equine Prognostication (Handicapper).

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