Of the three distaffers trainer Chad Brown sent to Parx Racing for the $200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes (G3T) July 4, Fourstar Crook had the least amount of graded stakes experience but the most momentum on her side.
The latter dynamic proved most valuable in the 1 1/16-mile test, as the New York-bred daughter of Freud stepped up in class and collected her eighth straight victory when she kicked powerfully down the middle of the course for a 2 1/4-length win.
While Fourstar Crook tried graded company for the first time Saturday, she more than served notice that she was on her way to becoming the latest in the lengthy line of turf standouts to emerge from Brown's Eclipse Award-winning shedrow. The 5-year-old bay mare broke her maiden on her fourth try at Belmont Park in Oct. 2015 and hasn't put a foot wrong since. After besting state-breds in three straight stakes, including the May 29 Mount Vernon, she ventured out of New York for the first time in the James Penny and put on the same kind of talent display.
Jockey Joe Bravo settled Fourstar Crook in the two-path in sixth through the opening quarter in :24 flat, and still sitting chilly in seventh when pacesetter Thundering Sky covered the half-mile in :48.64. When the eight-horse field came off the final turn, Fourstar Crook still only had one horse beaten and was fanned to the far outside.
None of that mattered in the final furlong, as Fourstar Crook flaunted a big turn of foot past rivals that included her graded-stakes placed stablemates Elysea's World and Light In Paris. She hit the wire in 1:42.78 over a course rated firm, while My Impression got up for second by a neck over Cambodia.
Light Up Our World finished fourth while Elysea's World (IRE) crossed the line in fifth. Thundering Sky, Light In Paris (IRE), and Tin Type Gal completed the order of finish. Gone Away and Royal Renege were both scratched.
Sent off at 7-2 odds, Fourstar Crook paid $9.20, $5, and $3.40 across the board.
Bred by Kathleen Feron, Fourstar Crook is owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Aisquith, and improved her record to eight wins from 11 starts with $544,050 in earnings. She was purchased by Dubb for $110,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale and is out of the D'Accord mare Avril a Portugal.