Possible pace collapse in Fourstardave paves way for Delta Prince

The illustrious Grade I Fourstardave Handicap will be renewed this Saturday at Saratoga. Six runners (excluding the MTO) will vie for a $500,000 purse going one mile on the inner turf course. Post time for the Fourstardave, scheduled as Race 8 on an 11-race program, is 5:02 p.m. EST. In addition to watching and wagering, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#2 DELTA PRINCE (4-1) appears to be the horse with the most upside in the Fourstardave. He hit the board in each of his first five starts on turf (5-3-1-1), including the Bernard Baruch over this course, before taking an extended vacation. Firing fresh in June’s Grade II King Edward at Woodbine, DELTA PRINCE cruised to a convincing score in his first start at four. Now he’s a big threat to improve and take the Fourstardave with a race under his belt. DELTA PRINCE should also benefit from a pace battle between HEART TO HEART and VOODOO SONG. Javier Castellano maintains the assignment.

#5 HEART TO HEART (2-1, morning-line favorite) exits a game runner-up performance in the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita, a track he has never taken well to by comparison. However, he’s 2-for-2 at Saratoga, including a win in last year’s Grade II Bernard Baruch. Today’s one-mile distance is his specialty, as he’s 19-7-5-1 all-time over it, and regular rider Julien Leparoux will be aboard. The only concern for HEART TO HEART in the Fourstardave is the presence of VOODOO SONG, who will likely press him early.

#6 VOODOO SONG (9-2) would be a fitting winner of the Fourstardave, as the race’s namesake was a Saratoga specialist. VOODOO SONG made four starts at “The Spa” last year and won each time, including the Grade III Saranac Stakes. He’s managed to step up his speed figures at age four, posting two wins (including the Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont last time out) and a third in four starts. He’ll be involved early under Jose Lezcano and try to see it out late.

The play: $2 exacta box 2/5/6, $1 exacta key box 2/5,6 ($16)

DFJ analysis: Javier Castellano, who’s been highly-productive at Saratoga so far, is poised for another strong Saturday. He rides in all 11 races, and just two of his mounts are above 4-1 on the morning-line. Castellano has the call on DELTA PRINCE in the Fourstardave and favored Projected in the Lure. Earlier in the day, Castellano rides 5-2 Virginia Eloise in the Adirondack.

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