Like a fine wine, Silver Tree seems to keep improving with age. The 7-year-old son of Hennessy aims to continue teaching younger competitors how it's done Aug. 5, when he goes for a third consecutive victory in the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga. The race for 3-year-olds and up will be run 1 1/16-miles on the inner turf.
Trained by William Mott, Silver Tree has earned a race-high $1.4 million and has hit the board in 22 of 33 lifetime tries. A winner of six career stakes, he has won three of his last five efforts. Most recently, Silver Tree won the July 15 Caeser Rodney Stakes at Delaware Park over a field of seven, including current challenger Silent Roar. Under Edgar Prado, Silver Tree won by a length after coming from off the pace.
Kent Desormeaux gets the mount in the Fourstardave, as Silver Tree goes for his fourth career graded-stakes win. Owned by Peter Vegso, the chestnut won his first stakes in 2003.
Other main challengers in the Fourstardave include 5-year-old Fishy Advice, veteran turfer Host (CHI) and Sky Conquerer (gr. I)winner Brilliant. A son of Woodman, Fishy Advice has been remarkably consistent, taking money in 12 of 17 races and winning five of his last eight efforts. Trained by David Gonk, the Kentucky-bred won the Battlefield Stakes at Monmouth Park June 17 after coming off a nearly seven-month layoff. Fishy Advice faltered down the stretch most recently in a 1 3/8-mile stakes at Belmont July 15, finishing seventh. That was his only time off the board in eight races.
Host has run a pair of solid efforts, including a third-place finish in the July 14 Poker Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont and an impressive off-the-pace win in the Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth in May. At Monmouth, the 7-year-old son of Hussonet burned a one-mile time of 1:33.99.
The field of 10 also includes Fort Macy Handicap (gr. III) winner Woodlander, along with Giant Wrecker, who won the Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfsteam Park for trainer Mark Hennig in February.
Last year's Fourstardave winner Remarkable News was set to defend his title, but had to withdraw on Aug. 4 because of an illness.
The race is named for a horse once nicknamed “The Sultan of Saratoga,” who won at least one race there every year from 1987 to 1994.
$150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 5:20 p.m. EDT)
Three-Year-Old and Up, 1 1/16 miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Niagara Causeway (KY), 113, Julien R. Leparoux
2. Giant Wrecker (KY), 115, Cornelio H. Velasquez
3. Brilliant (KY), 120, Mark Guidry
4. Drum Major (KY), 116, Rafael Bejarano
5. Silver Tree (FL), 118, Kent J. Desormeaux
6. Fishy Advice (KY), 116, Javier Castellano
7. Woodlander (KY), 114, Michael J. Luzzi
8. Silent Roar (KY), 115, Eibar Coa
9. Giant Basil (FL), 114, Ramon A. Dominguez
10. Host (CHI), 118, John R. Velasquez
MTO. Evening Attire (KY), 122, (No Rider)