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Remembering Fourstardave

It was Aug. 28, 1987, and the Saratoga meet was winding down. A week earlier, Java Gold had captured a memorable running of the Travers Stakes (gr. I), in which he defeated classic winners Alysheba and Bet Twice, as well as Cryptoclearance, Gulch, and Polish Navy.

With the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) scheduled for the following day, not much attention was paid to the six-furlong Empire Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds. And hardly anyone took notice when Randy Romero brought home the 2-1 second choice, Fourstardave, who was coming off a six-length defeat to the Kentucky-bred Endurance in an open-company allowance race at Belmont.

What no one had any way of knowing, however, was that this six-furlong race for New York-breds would have a far greater impact on the Sport of Kings and Saratoga than both the Travers and the Hopeful. It was here, in the appropriately named Empire Stakes, that racing fans witnessed the birth of a king.

For almost a decade, Fourstardave ruled over Saratoga like no horse before him. Nicknamed the "Sultan of Saratoga," the gelded son of Compliance --Broadway Joan, by Bold Arian, won at least one race at the historic Spa for eight consecutive years.

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