Can the lone female in the field defeat the boys in Saturday’s $500,000 Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga Race Course? It’s happened before, and it seems very likely to happen again.
The Fourstardave is one of the most prestigious one-mile grass races in North America. The roster of winners from the last decade is impressive, led by Breeders’ Cup Mile winners Wise Dan (2012 and 2013), Tourist (2016), and World Approval (2017). It’s no wonder why the Fourstardave serves as a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Since the Fourstardave achieved Grade 1 status in 2016, a solid group of fillies and mares has contested the race with impressive results. In 2019, Got Stormy and Uni ran first and third in the Fourstardave; later in the year, Uni and Got Stormy would finish 1-2, respectively, in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. In 2020, Got Stormy ran second and Uni seventh in the Fourstardave, and in 2021 Got Stormy returned to the winner’s circle while Blowout and Daddy Is a Legend finished fourth and fifth, respectively, by close margins.
The 2022 Fourstardave has drawn a small, but talented field of five horses. Four are graded stakes winners are two are Grade 1 winners, but one horse — the six-year-old mare #3 Regal Glory — ranks above the rest.
A stakes winner every year since 2018, Regal Glory has been on a hot streak dating back to last year. The talented Chad Brown trainee wrapped up 2021 with a fast-finishing, 2 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes racing one mile at Del Mar. Since then, the daughter of Animal Kingdom has been unstoppable.
Indeed, Regal Glory started 2022 with an effortless victory in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 3 TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational Stakes presented by PEPSI, winning by 2 1/2 lengths with a fast finish from off the pace. Regal Glory next traveled to Keeneland and beat a strong field in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes before taking her game to Belmont Park, where she dominated the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game Stakes in the blazing time of 1:32 for one mile.
In the Just a Game, Regal Glory scored by 3 1/2 lengths over Wakanaka (next-out winner of the Grade 1 Dance Smartly Stakes) and In Italian (next-out winner of the Grade 1 Diana Stakes). It’s safe to say Regal Glory has been defeating strong competition with authority, stamping her credentials as clearly the horse to beat in the Fourstardave.
Who are the other key contenders? Certainly, we have to respect Regal Glory’s red-hot stablemate #4 Masen, who is a nose away from being undefeated in three starts since arriving in the United States. A narrow defeat in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes at Keeneland kicked things off, after which Masen traveled to Belmont Park and rattled off victories in the Seek Again Stakes and Grade 3 Poker Stakes racing one mile.
#1 Casa Creed also figures to attract betting support after rallying powerfully to win the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes sprinting three-quarters of a mile at Belmont two months ago. Although Casa Creed ran third in the 2021 and 2020 editions of the Fourstardave, he’s done his best work sprinting seven-eighths of a mile or less, and one mile might be a hair farther than the 6-year-old veteran wants to run these days.
Much the same can be said of #2 Front Run the Fed, an accomplished sprinter who won the Van Clief Stakes at Colonial Downs to kick off 2022. Front Run the Fed is just 1-for-5 racing one mile and will be attempting to stretch his deep-closing style over a longer distance than usual in the Fourstardave.
Completing the field is #5 Get Smokin, a speedy gelding who almost always sets the pace. He led nearly from start to finish in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Arlington Stakes at Churchill Downs two starts back and scored his signature victory when leading all the way in the Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes racing one mile in 2020 at Belmont Park. As the only true front-runner in the Fourstardave field, Get Smokin is eligible to shake loose on an easy lead and hang around for a top-three finish.
So, how should we bet the Fourstardave? We’ll count on a 1-2 finish for trainer Chad Brown, with Regal Glory outfinishing stablemate Masen. For third and fourth place, we’ll use Casa Creed and Get Smokin in equal strength.
Wagering Strategy on a $10 Budget
$6 exacta: 2 with 4
What to say at the betting window: Saratoga, 10th race, $6 exacta 2 with 4
$2 trifecta: 2 with 4 with 1,5 ($4)
What to say at the betting window: Saratoga, 10th race, $2 trifecta 2 with 4 with 1,5
Wagering Strategy on a $30 Budget
$10 exacta: 2 with 4
What to say at the betting window: Saratoga, 10th race, $10 exacta 2 with 4
$7 trifecta: 2 with 4 with 1,5 ($14)
What to say at the betting window: Saratoga, 10th race, $7 trifecta 2 with 4 with 1,5
$3 superfecta: 2 with 4 with 1,5 with 1,5 ($6)
What to say at the betting window: Saratoga, 10th race, $3 superfecta 2 with 4 with 1,5 with 1,5
Good luck, and enjoy the race!