From Mary Lou to Tom; Jim Dandy to Fourstardave; Siro’s to backyard tailgating; and morning workouts to give aways; Saratoga has a cast of heroes, customs, and institutions which make it, in our opinion, the most unique sporting venue on Earth. Over the next 40 Days, we will profile 40 of these legends and traditions, adding our own memories and experiences from 30 plus years of summering at the Spa. It’s our Salute to Saratoga. We hope you enjoy following along.
On August 28, 1987, hall of famer Randy Romero piloted a 2-1 second choice juvenile to win what appeared to be an otherwise benign edition of Saratoga’s Empire Stakes–a six furlong event for two year old New York Breds. Fast forward seven Saratoga meetings later, and that otherwise unremarkable 1987 state bred stakes held a much larger legacy. It marked the birth of a Sultan.
Fourstardave, The Sultan of Saratoga, won at least one race at the Spa for eight consecutive years spanning from 1987 thru 1994. In doing so, he became a local legend. Fourstardave retired after making 99 starts with a record of 21-18-16 and earnings of $1,636,560. He also owns a mellon turf course record at Saratoga, traveling a mile and sixteenth in 1:38 4/5.
In 1995, following his retirement, Fourstardave was given an edible key to the city of Saratoga and a street, “Fourstardave Way” was named in his honor. On a personal note, two young Thorobros attended the 1995 street naming outside Siros and have signed goggles which Angel Cordero wore that day as he rode ‘Dave over from the barn area.
In 1996, the Darly’s Joy Stakes–a race Fourstardave won twice–was renamed the in the Sultan’s honor. Besides its namesake, only one other horse has won the race multiple times–Wise Dan. Other winners include Breeders’ Cup mile champs Lure, Da Hoss, and Steinlen.
Today’s clip features Tom Durkin, in rare cheerleader mode, rooting home the “Old Boy” as he dominates an allowance field for his final Saratoga victory in 1994. Enjoy and best of luck to everone wagering on today’s Fourstardave.