Grade I winner Data Link , who set a course record at Monmouth Park in his previous race, tops a field of nine older turf specialists entered in the Aug. 11 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, the Stuart Janney III homebred Data Link caught Fourstardave entrant Get Stormy late to win the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT) under John Velazquez, setting a course record 1:45.93 for 1 1/8 miles on grass with a rail set at 0 feet.
A 4-year-old colt by War Front , Data Link has a lifetime mark of 6-0-1 from 12 outings, with earnings of $451,335. The Monmouth Stakes was the second graded victory of the year and career for Data Link, who in the spring posted an upset win over Turallure in the Maker’s Mark 46 Mile Stakes (gr. IT) at Keneeland.
The 121-pound highweight in the Fourstardave, Data Link starts from the rail under jockey Alex Solis, who was aboard the colt for nine consecutive starts before the Monmouth Stakes.
Get Stormy , a three-time grade I winner who has three consecutive losses since taking the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT), has been weighted at 120 pounds for the Fourstardave and will again have Eddie Castro in the irons from the 3 post.
Trained by Tom Bush for Sullimar Stable, Get Stormy is a seasoned 6-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic who has made 30 career starts, with 11 wins, eight placings, and earnings of $1,556,812. Included among Get Stormy’s nine stakes triumphs are additional grade I wins in the 2011 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes and the Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes.
Velazquez will be riding Wise Dan from the 2 hole under a 119-pound impost. Trained by Charles Lopresti for breeder-owner Mort Fink, the 5-year-old gelded son of Wiseman's Ferry concluded his 2011 season with consecutive victories in the Fayette Handicap (gr. II) and Clark Handicap (gr. I). He picked up where he left off this season, with a record-smashing 10 1/2-length victory in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland in his debut April 22. With nine wins in 16 starts for his career, Wise Dan is 4-2-1-0 on grass.
The Fourstardave field also includes the respective first- through third-place finishers from the June 8 Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park, Upgrade, Right One, and Yield Bogey.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has entered Darley Stable’s Crossbow, a son of Bernardini who has never raced on turf, for the main track only should the race be moved from grass due to course conditions.
$500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. II, Race 11, 6:45 p.m.) 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Inner turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Data Link (KY), A Solis, 121, C McGaughey
2. Wise Dan (KY), J Velazquez, 119, C Lopresti
3. Get Stormy (KY), E Castro, 120, T Bush
4. Guys Reward (KY), C Lanerie, 118, D Romans
5. Right One (FR), J Leparoux, 116, C Clement
6. Surfrider (IRE), J Lezcano, 115, E Kenneally
7. Corporate Jungle (KY), J Castellano, 116, C Brown
8. Upgrade (KY), J Rosario, 116, M Nihei
9. Yield Bogey (KY), E Prado, 114, P Kelly
AE-MTO10. Crossbow (KY), R Dominguez, 120, K McLaughlin