Saratoga Race Report (Cont.)
Date Posted: 8/24/2002 5:01:28 PM
Last Updated: 8/27/2002 12:00:00 PM

Jerkens was standing by the fence on the first turn as Shine Again won by a half-length in 1:22.26. "I was up there," he said pointing to the spot. "I wanted to get out of the way so I could just see by myself. I love to be by myself while I'm watching a race. So then people don't have to see me get mad."

There wasn't anything for Jerkens to be angry about after the Ballerina. He said the fast early pace set up his mare's closing run. It is unlikely, he said, that she will run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

A few feet away, Samyn was gushing about the Wild Again mare, who has won 11 of 24 starts. "I adore her. I don't think there is anybody better than her," he said. "She is a pure, genuine, great horse. She will try every time she runs the best she can. The last time she got beat, it was because of the racetrack. Look at today, she got there."

Capsized Fits

Capsized's victory in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. III) on Aug. 24 was the triumph of a horse who has won four of his six career victories at Saratoga in a race named for the ultimate horse for the course.

The legendary Fourstardave was a New York-bred gelding who won at least one race at Saratoga for eight consecutive summers through 1994. Owned by Richard Bomze and trained by Leo O'Brien, Fourstardave, the 17-year-old son of Compliance by Broadway Joan, is in retirement at Another Episode Farm in Ocala, Fla.

Capsized made the first start of his career in a maiden race at Saratoga on Aug. 24, 1998. He won at the track for the first time on the dirt on Aug. 28, 1999, and won a turf allowance over Medievel Hero in 2000.

Last year, he missed the Saratoga season, but came back this summer to win a mile turf money allowance for trainer Lisa Lewis on opening day, July 24.

When the Fourstardave, originally scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course, was moved to the main track at nine furlongs because of heavy rain, Del Mar Show, Autonomy, Baptize, Sir Howard, and Sardaukar were scratched, leaving a field of five. The rating of the race was changed from grade II to a grade III.

As Lewis and jockey Jose Santos had expected, Jorge Chavez and front-running Fort Marcy (gr. III) winner Pyrus went right to the lead. Santos put Capsized in a stalking position, a length back through opening fractions of :23.49 and :47.21.

Capsized began his move toward Pyrus entering the second turn and had the lead at the quarter pole in a time of 1:11.97. The 6-year-old Summer Squall horse opened up a five-length lead in the stretch and had no trouble holding off favored Pure Prize to win by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:50.90. Pyrus was third, better than 10 lengths ahead of Kappa King.

It was Capsized's first stakes victory in nine tries and was Lewis' first stakes win at Saratoga since American Royale won the Adirondack (gr. II) in 1991.

"Now, I'm very happy," Lewis said. "An hour before, I might have said I want to keep it on the grass. I thought the horse was really training well. He's very tough at Saratoga. So I was confident going in it. Now, I can't complain."

SURYA IN THE SLOP

There really wasn't much for Jerry Bailey to talk about after the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap. What was there to say about a turf stake that was moved to the sloppy main track and ended up with a total of three starters from the original field of 10?

Bailey shrugged his shoulders and smiled after Surya's 9 1/4-length victory over Shooting Party. "Pretty simple," he said.

That may have been the understatement of the meet.

Cozzy Corner and Decencia were scratched by their trainers in the morning after the rain began to fall. When the race was switched from the Mellon Turf Course to the main track Babae, Blue Moon, Snow Dance, Watch, and the likely favorite Voodoo Dancer were also scratched.

That left Surya, Solvig, and Shooting Party: three fillies with exactly zero experience racing in the mud, competing for a purse of $209,800.

Samyn gunned Shooting Party out of the gate and the Sky Classic filly trained by Jerkens had a 2 1/2-length lead through a quarter in :23.82. Bailey settled into a stalking trip on Surya, who was 3 1/2 lengths off the pace through a half in :46.86.

Bailey and Surya moved up to challenge the tiring Shooting Star on the turn, had the lead top of the stretch, and galloped away. They completed the nine furlongs in 1:52.29 and paid $3.70 to win.

"The only thing was when she made the lead she looked at the grandstand and I had to hit her a couple of times just to keep her looking straight instead of to the right," Bailey said. "Everything else was very easy."

Due to the conditions, Surya's trainer, Bobby Frankel, had a different take. "The race wasn't that easy," he said. "I wasn't sure if she would handle the mud. She did and I'm happy she got to that pace-setting horse."

(Chart, Equibase)

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