2021 Fourstardave Handicap Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content
By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)
1. RAGING BULL (9-5) – Will third time in the Fourstardave be the charm? Two years ago, he was outrun early and had too much ground to make up on Got Stormy, who at the time was at her career peak. Last year, the pace was more pedestrian than he generally needs, and overall it was a terribly dull effort. Hard to argue with his form coming into this renewal, and keep in mind upset Poker (G3) loss was to a mare who’s a beast on the Belmont turf. Primary downside is his price will be lower than it has been in recent editions of this race, and he still struggles to consistently reach the winner’s circle.
2. WHISPER NOT (20-1) – Likely better than dull showing in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) would suggest as he wasn’t that far off Smooth Like Strait last winter, but was all out to beat the mare Keeper Ofthe Stars in the San Francisco Mile (G3) two back, and that rival has since gone unplaced twice facing fillies and mares. Potential pace pressure from Blowout also figures to work against him if Jose Ortiz attempts a steal.
3. DADDY IS A LEGEND (20-1) – Last year was a bit of a lost season for this mare, one of three in the field, but seems to have bounced back nicely since rejoining the Weaver barn. Though consistently a top-three threat for much of her career, she lacks experience facing males. That’s generally a tall order for mares that aren’t absolutely assertive in their own division. Enters with something to prove, and perhaps more useful as fodder for the lower rungs of exotics.
4. CASA CREED (4-1) – Has evolved into perhaps the top turf sprinter in the region, but took a pass on the recent Troy (G3), presumably because connections felt he needed more than 5 1/2 furlongs for best effect. He’s certainly not incapable at a mile – he won the Hall of Fame (G2) here two seasons ago and was third in this race last year, but reverting back to two turns and away from his newfound specialty brings some risk at a relatively short price.
5. SET PIECE (5-2) – His grass career stateside was slow to develop, so much so he spent most of the winter on the Turfway synthetic. However, he undoubtedly deserves this step up in class after ruling the roost during the Churchill spring meet. Enters off a tremendous local work, and he should have a much stronger pace to run at here than he did in Kentucky. The primary negative is that the fields he’s been beating lately weren’t that difficult, relatively speaking, and a short price looms for his backers.
6. GOT STORMY (10-1) – She won this race two years ago when at her absolute peak, and was a commendable second in her title defense last year when everything seemed to be going against her. Repurposed last fall as a sprinter, she did quite well, and it might be the case that’s still her present forte. Last couple are discouraging, for sure, but she does love this course and could easily see her exceeding expectations as she did last year. Firm ground would enhance her prospects.
7. FIELD PASS (8-1) – Maker barn on fire this meet, and this one wheels back three weeks after a tactically difficult win against softer at Pimlico, a field that was reduced to four after scratches. Given losses already this year to returning rivals Raging Bull and Set Piece, it still appears a class ceiling remains in effect until he produces a breakout effort.
8. BLOWOUT (6-1) – One-dimensional mare has endured a number of bad beats during her career, and thus so have her backers. The Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2), however, provided one of the happier outcomes, and no question she’ll attempt to steal this on the front end. Although she lacks experience against the boys, her speed could prove decisive with potentially minimal pressure staring at her (Whisper Not might be the most likely rival). Intriguing, especially at a price possibly higher than has been available in a long time.