Red Giant just gets past Stalingrad (hidden) to take the Fourstardave (gr. IIT) Aug. 3 at Saratoga. <br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Red Giant just gets past Stalingrad (hidden) to take the Fourstardave (gr. IIT) Aug. 3 at Saratoga.
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Coglianese Photos

Red Giant Wins Fourstardave at the Wire

A nearly 10-month layoff did not seem to bother Peachtree Stable’s Red Giant, as the 4-year-old colt powered down the stretch under John Velazquez and caught Stalingrad just before the wire to win the $150,000 Fourstardave (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) by a neck Aug. 2 on the Saratoga turf.

Completing 1 1/16 miles on the ‘yielding’ grass in 1:41.93, Red Giant won for the first time since taking the Virginia Derby July 21 of last year as a 37-1 longshot. The son of Giant's Causeway last raced Oct. 6 in the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont, when he finished second to Nobiz Like Shobiz. He is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Stalingrad, who took over at the top of the stretch and seemed to be on his way to an upset victory, settled for second under Channing Hill. Thorn Song was a neck in front of Distorted Reality, also trained by Pletcher, for third.

Bred in Kentucky by Edward and Marilyn Seltzer, Red Giant earned his second graded stakes score and fifth win in 11 career starts. He banked $90,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $942,410.

“There is no question that he is a quality horse,” Pletcher said. “We weren’t concerned about him not being good enough in a spot like this. Our concern was that he hadn’t run in awhile. He had an ankle issue that flared up on him last year. We gave him plenty of time for a summer campaign. I had entered him in an allowance race that didn’t fill. We nominated him to this race as a back-up plan.”

For most of the Fourstardave, it was Inca King who led the way under Shaun Bridgmohan. The 4-year-old Sir Cat gelding burst to a seven-length advantage after a quarter-mile in :23.95. He continued to lead comfortably through the backstretch as Thorn Song, Stalingrad and Red Giant stalked the pace.

It wasn’t until they straightened away that Stalingrad made the front. He led for most of the stretch until Red Giant finally collared him in the final strides.

“I had a good trip,” Velazquez said. “He broke sharp and I sat against him. I just bided my time with him, and tried to follow the next horse (Stalingrad) that was moving in front of me. After that, I was hoping to get some sort of daylight. I put my horse over there, he shot through there and it was all over.”

Pletcher said Red Giant may be pointed toward the $200,000 Bernard Baruch (gr. IIT) Aug. 23 on Travers day.

Going off as the 4-1 third choice, Red Giant paid $10.60, $6.10 and $3.70. The exacta (1-6) was worth $175, while the trifecta (1-6-4 ) returned $677.

Red Giant, who was bought for $350,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale, is out of the Kingmambo mare Beyond the Sun.

Inca King finished fifth, followed by War Monger, Elusive Fort, Prince Rahy and Danak.

View Stakes Details and Full Equibase Chart