Absolutely Grande Lives Up to His Name in The Fourstardave Handicap

The Fourstardave Handicap (BC) (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
SAR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Inner Turf
August 12, 2023

It was a wet day at Saratoga, as storms moved through the virtual northeast, leaving the track sloppy and soft for the day’s action. That would mean that the Fourstardave Handicap would be decided on soft going, news that was good for some and not so for others. We would have one scratch, and that would be Angel Code, though the rest of the field would still make their way to the starting gate. After a mile, the race would be won by a horse that has been successful on wet tracks before, as Absolutely Grande went on to win by two lengths. We didn’t have him in our picks, but neither did many other people as he was the second longest shot on the board, at odds of 19/1. The winning trainer is Grimley and F Prat is the triumphant rider. For each, it is their first win in the Fourstardave. Congratulations to them, and welcome to the BC Mile! The time of the win was 1:36.81, slightly faster than the 2018 edition of the race which was also on soft. Here’s a look at it!

(1/4 Mile- :23.40)- Miami My Amy, of Mb Stables, prevails in an early battle with Threshold’s Certified Yank for the top spot, and holds almost a full-length lead while going around the clubhouse turn. Even for third, with one on the rail and other being four wide, are Hawaiian Lord, for Our Athletes, and Immookielee, out of Smokey Stover. A length behind them, we have a group of three that includes Deactivation (Mb Stables), Commanding Officer (Winning Link Stables), and American Grandeur (TwinTowersRacing). Insist On Perfection (Maxmillion Farm), our pick to win given the wet track is next, with the race’s eventual winner, Grimley’s Absolutely Grande running ninth and about four and a half lengths from the front. Trailing are Oh Brother (Spankys Barn) and Valvano (Royalty Stables).

(1/2 Mile- :47.48)- Miami My Amy is out front as the field moves down the backstretch, and he holds a full-length advantage over the new second place horse, Hawaiian Lord. That one would slip by Certified Yank while on the rail, though both of them still were in a good spot at this point. Immookielee is with the lead group while in the the fourth position, and there’s a length gap to Commanding Officer and Deactivation, who are side by side for fifth. American Grandeur begins to lose touch with them, all while Absolutely Grande starts to inch forward while on the outside. He’s passed Insist On Perfection, with both Oh Brother and Valvano still at the back.

(Top of Stretch, 1.8F To Go)- Rounding the turn, Miami My Amy is still the leader, but the excitement was coming further back in the field as Absolutely Grande made a lot of progress. This was not easy for him to do, either, since it required going four wide while rounding the turn, but that did keep him out of traffic. Entering the stretch, Absolutely Grande was up to fifth, and within two lengths of the leader. Hawaiian Lord was passing Miami My Amy, but even he had to be concerned with the progress of our eventual winner. Immookielee and Certified Yank were the next two to be passed by Absolutely Grande. Commanding Officer and Deactivation still ran in the middle of the field, and further back Valvano was making a move, though on a smaller scale.

(Finish- 1:36.81)- Early in the stretch, it was very clear that neither Miami My Amy or Hawaiian Lord were going to have a chance at holding off Absolutely Grande. On the outside, Absolutely Grande was exactly what his name says, catching the frontrunners in a blink of an eye, then making quick work of them. With no one else making a charge from behind, this race was over, and all that was left was to watch him run. Absolutely Grande would win by over two lengths, with Hawaiian Lord completing the exacta over the closing Valvano. Immookielee slipped by the tiring Miami My Amy for the fourth-place check. The rest of the order will read Commanding Officer, Oh Brother, Deactivation, Insist On Perfection, Certified Yank, and American Grandeur.

About The Winner- Absolutely Grande, trained by Grimley and ridden to victory by F Prat, is a six-year-old gelding by the late Prince Absolutely, and is out of the late Rio Grande Gal. He was bred in New York as a fourth quarter two-year-old by Grimley, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in 29 starts and his first career stake win! His career earnings are now $634,560.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Absolutely Grande Grimley Prat F 19.25   12 1:36.81  
  Hawaiian Lord Our Athletes Gaffalione T 3.75   2nk 1:37.35  
  Valvano Royalty Stables Davis D 16.75   31/2 1:37.42  
  Immookielee Smokey Stover Velazquez J R 8.15   41/2 1:37.55  
  Miami My Amy Mb Stables Gutierrez Mario 8.50   5hd 1:37.69  
  Commanding Officer Winning Link Stables Dettori L 12.45   6no 1:37.72  
  Oh Brother Spankys Barn Saez L 11.45   71/4 1:37.73  
  Deactivation Mb Stables Lopez P 7.85   81 1:37.82  
  Insist On Perfection Maxmillion Farm Lezcano J 2.75   93/4 1:38.15  
  Certified Yank Threshold Beschizza A 20.65   102 1:38.32  
  American Grandeur TwinTowersRacing Franco M 13.55   11 1:38.74  

Track: Soft

Time: :232  :472  1:121  1:364

$2 Mutuel Prices:

10 – Absolutely Grande 40.50 18.00 10.40
1 – Hawaiian Lord   5.10 4.40
2 – Valvano     6.60

$1 Exacta: 10 – 1 Paid 147.30

$1 Trifecta: 10 – 1 – 2 Paid 1,425.50

Scratched: Angel Code

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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