Grade I-placed multiple times, Tourist finally got his breakthrough win at the highest level Aug. 20 in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course, an event boasting grade I status for the first time.
The 5-year-old son of Tiznow raced just off a slow pace set by King Kreesa, who led the field of six through an opening quarter mile in 24.53 seconds and a half in 48.43, then reeled in that rival coming off the turn of the one-mile inner turf event.
Jockey Joel Rosario kept Tourist to task down the lane, and the Bill Mott trainee completed the distance in 1:34.29 on firm turf. Off at odds of 5-2, he returned $7.40, $3.90, and $2.90. A Lot closed to finish second by 1 1/4 lengths, while last year's Fourstardave winner Grand Arch settled for third another 1 1/2 lengths back. King Kreesa, Force the Pass, and Ring Weekend completed the order of finish.
There was a stewards' inquiry and an objection from Javier Castellano, the rider of Chad Brown trainee A Lot, against Rosario for interference at the start, but the stewards ruled no change.
Tourist was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm out of the Unbridled's Song mare Unbridled Melody, and is owned by his breeder in partnership with Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber. His win was a Saratoga stakes double for Unbridled Melody, whose Spring At Last 2-year-old, Harlan's Harmony, won the Skidmore Aug. 18.
Tourist's long-elusive graded black type came on the heels of a game runner-up finish in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) in June at Santa Anita Park, where he finished a half-length behind multiple graded stakes winner Midnight Storm. He was also second in the 2014 Secretariat (gr. IT) and third in the 2015 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT). He improved his career record to 5-3-3 from 16 starts, with earnings of $970,340.
"It was important for a horse like him (to get a grade I win)," Mott said. "He's been a good horse for us, multiple grade I-placed. To win the Fourstardave in Saratoga was very important. There have been some nice horses win it in the past and I'm sure we'll have some more in the future. But it was his day today."
"Good trip," Rosario said. "Nice horse, he really put a nice run. It was all him today. I remember his first time here (winning the Sir Cat Stakes July, 20, 2014), he really ran a big race before. That was a big performance from him here today. I never thought anything about the inquiry. I just did the best I can. I don't think it impacted the race."