Saratoga’s stakes schedule lacks a one-mile graded turf race for distaffers so a pair of classy females, Got Stormy and Uni, will step up to face males in Saturday’s $500,000 Fourstardave H. (G1) at Saratoga. It’s a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 2.
Got Stormy wheels back seven days later following an impressive four-length win in the restricted De La Rose over the same inner turf course. Runner-up in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) two back, the four-year-old filly brings improving form to the Fourstardave for trainer Mark Casse.
“She won it about as easy as a horse can win it,” Casse told the NYRA media office. “We’re going to enter in there, and we’re going to look at the race. She trained great (Wednesday) morning.”
Ricardo Santana Jr. picks up the mount after regular rider Tyler Gaffalione was named on stablemate March to the Arch. A neck upsetter in the Wise Dan (G2) two back, March to the Arch will look to improve upon a fifth in the July 12 Forbidden Apple (G3) at the Spa.
Uni, one of three runners from the Chad Brown stable in the 10-horse field, has won five straight including December’s Matriarch (G1) two back. She returned from a seven-month layoff with an easy win in the June 29 Perfect Sting at Belmont Park and the lightly race five-year-old hasn’t lost since October 2017. Joel Rosario retains the mount.
Grade 1 Raging Bull also merits serious respect for Brown. Winner of the Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3) at Saratoga last summer, the French-bred colt exits a fast-closing third in the Manhattan (G1) to Bricks and Mortar and Robert Bruce, top contenders in Saturday’s Arlington Million (G1). Hot-riding Jose Ortiz takes over the reins. Grade 2 scorer Made You Look completes the Brown trio.
French Group 2 winner Ostilio has shipped in for Godolphin and trainer Simon Crisford.
Dr. Edgar, a front-running winner of the Appleton (G3) earlier this season, could be showing the way from an inside post and multiple stakes victor Gidu should keep the pace honest from his far outside starting spot. Hembree, a rallying second in the Forbidden Apple, and Grade 3 winner Krampus round out the field.
Saratoga Special S.
The 11-race program also features the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) for two-year-olds and Green Light Go will receive support in the 6 ½-furlong test following a sharp debut score at Belmont Park. A Stronach Stables homebred son of Hard Spun, the James Jerkens-trained colt dueled on fast fractions before drawing off to a 3 ¼-length win on July 4 and registered a field-best 93 BRIS Speed rating. Green Light shows a pair of bullet works in preparation, including a half-mile drill in :46 1/5, and Junior Alvarado rides.
Zyramid exits a nice 2 ¾-length tally at Saratoga in his second start, overcoming a bobbling start to prove much the best as the 7-5 favorite, and Santana will be up on the City Zip colt for Steve Asmussen. Long Weekend and Noose looks intriguing, both posting five-length debut wins at Churchill Downs. Rosario takes over on Long Weekend for Tom Amoss and Corey Laneri will be in to guide Noose for Eddie Kenneally.
Jeremiah Englehart will send out Tuggle, a convincing winner of an off-the-turf maiden race on June 21. Iberico invades for Antonio Sano after rolling to a 5 ½-length maiden tally at Gulfstream Park and Arlington shippers King Snake and Peruvian Boy complete the line-up.