WinStar Farm, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber's Tourist was able to sit just off a slow early pace in the rescheduled G1 Fourstardave Handicap this Saturday, bounding home to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Under Joel Rosario, the 5-year-old son of Tiznow covered a mile over Saratoga's firm turf in 1:34.29 for trainer Bill Mott, marking the horse's first win of the year.
“He was very impressive,” Mott said after the race. “He had a good trip. Looking at the race, on paper, that looked like the type of trip he would probably get. He was laying second, came on, drew away from the field, and ran very well. There was a bit of an anxious moment in the middle of the turn, he took a bad step. I swallowed [hard] there for a second, but he was able to pick himself back up and go on with it. Once he straightened up for home it looked like he still was traveling well.”
As expected, King Kreesa jumped out of the gate to take the early lead, but Rosario kept Tourist within striking range, never more than 1 1/2 lengths off the lead. The defending Grand Arch held third while Force the Pass chased from fourth. King Kreesa was well-rated in this start, marking a first quarter in :24.53 and the half mile in :48.43. Tourist came up alongside him to force the pace in the far turn, and ended up matching strides with the New York-bred speedster for nearly a full eighth of a mile.
At the head of the lane, Tourist held a neck's advantage on the outside of King Kreesa, with Grand Arch and A Lot winding up their runs from third and fourth, respectively. Tourist bounded away from King Kreesa before the other two could reach him, cruising away easily to win by about 1 1/4 lengths. A Lot closed strongly to finish second, relegating Grand Arch to third. King Kreesa faded to fourth.
“It was a good trip,” Rosario echoed. “He's a nice horse and really put in a nice run. It was all him today. I remember his first time here [July, 20, 2014 Sir Cat victory] 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.”
Javier Castellano aboard A Lot lodged an objection against Tourist and Rosario for interference at the start, and the stewards conducted an inquiry but decided that no change need be made.
“Unfortunately when my horse broke from the gate, the eight horse [Tourist] came in on my horse,” said Castellano. “I didn't expect to be that far behind. I was supposed to be closer to the pace and it caused me to change my strategy for the race. I was too far behind and got beaten by a length.”
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Tourist hadn't won a race since the listed More Than Ready Mile at Kentucky Downs last fall, and the Fourstardave is his first graded stakes victory. Overall, Tourist boasts a record of 5-3-3 from 15 starts, with earnings of over $950,000.
Watch the race replay here:
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