Fourstar Crook wins the Dr. James Penny Memorial
Fourstar Crook has been on some kind of roll. A roll since October of 2015. After losing the third start of her career in July of 2015 in a state-bred special weight at Saratoga, she hasn’t lost since. Tuesday afternoon at Parx Racing, the 5 year-old Freud mare made a big late run down the middle of the turf course and rallied to win the Grade 3 $ 200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes by two lengths, winning for the 8th consecutive time.
Breaking from the outside gate in the field of eight, winning jockey Joe Bravo quickly took Fourstar Crook back off the pace and settled in sixth through most of the first half mile. Long shot Thundering Sky and second choice Cambodia were up front running one-two through fractions of 24.00 and a fairly comfortable 48.64. Bravo was clearly in no hurry. Midway up the backstretch, while sitting about five or six lengths behind, one of the other runners at the back started to move and actually went past Fourstar Crook, leaving her now seventh out of eight moving for the far turn. Still no panic in Bravo.
Moving outside for clear running, Fourstar Crook didn’t really start her run until she was midway around the final turn, launching that run three wide from about six lengths out of it. She fanned even wider coming off the last turn and once she was straightened away it was all over. She started mowing them down while surging down the middle of the course and while she hadn’t made the lead yet, by mid-stretch, it was clear who was going to win. Cambodia was finally able to wrest the lead from the tired, long shot leader turning for home but she would be no match for the fast closing Fourstar Crook. Taking the lead inside the final sixteenth of a mile, Fourstar Crook quickly drew clear and flashed under the line, officially two and a quarter lengths in front. While she had won three consecutive state-bred stakes in New York, this was the first graded stakes win of her career. Her lifetime mark now stands at 8 wins from 11 starts with earnings just shy of $ 500,000.
Despite the win streak, despite the fact that she runs for Chad Brown and despite the fact that she had the top Beyer figures in the race, Fourstar Crook, owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables & Gary Aisquith, went off as third choice at 7-2 and paid $ 9.20, 5.00 and 3.40. My Impression (11-1) was well placed throughout and got up late for second and paid 9.60 and 6.00. Cambodia (3-1) sat the stalking trip, led with a furlong to go but weakened late to finish third and paid 3.20 to show. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth over a turf course labeled firm in 1:42.78.
Bred in New York by Kathleen M. Feron, Fourstar Crook was a $ 55,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, then commanded $ 110,000 from Michael Dubb at the Midlantic 2-year-old sale. The mare did not break her maiden until late in her sophomore season, but has not lost a race since, including three stakes victories. Overall, Fourstar Crook boasts a record of eight wins from 11 starts, with earnings of over $ 540,000.
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