When he finds a turf course with a little “give” to it, World Approval is a pretty nice horse. Live Oak’s gelded five-year-old gray surely appreciated the soaking rain that hit Saratoga mid-afternoon Saturday, storming home on yielding ground to win the $500,000 Fourstardave H. (G1) by 2 1/4 lengths under Manny Franco.
Tracking in third as the filly Sassy Little Lila set fractions of :24.64, :49.86, and 1:14.46 on the inner course, World Approval made a bid in upper stretch and won in good style over 2-1 favorite Time Test in a time of 1:37.65 for one mile. Trained by Mark Casse, World Approval paid $12.60.
“He handled the ground really well. I saw on paper that he had been on this kind of turf before and he ran really well. I feel so lucky right now,” Franco said.
Time Test finished one length ahead of Ballagh Rocks, who had chased the leader from second most of the way. He was followed by Disco Partner, Sassy Little Lila, and American Patriot.
A son of Northern Afleet, World Approval captured the 2015 Saranac (G3) at Saratoga on firm turf, but his other graded stakes wins have occurred on off-going. They include the Dixie (G2) in May, the 2016 United Nations (G1), and the 2015 American Derby (G3). He also owns two other Florida-bred stakes wins to his credit, and has placed in previous editions of the Northern Dancer (G1), Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1), Manhattan (G1), American Turf (G2), and Muniz Memorial (G2). In his most recent start, he ran fifth in the June 10 Manhattan. His record now stands at 19-9-4-2, $1,443,763.
“Maybe the Woodbine Mile (G1) is a possibility, but I haven’t really thought about it,” Casse said regarding a possible next start. Long-term, our goal was the Breeders’ Cup, but we’re just happy to have this. We won the Woodbine Mile last year [with Tepin]; I wouldn’t mind winning it two years in a row.”
Bred in Florida by Live Oak, World Approval is a half-brother to 2006 champion turf male Miesque’s Approval, Grade 2 winner Revved Up and multiple Grade 3 scorer Za Approval. All are out of Win Approval, by With Approval.