SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) -- Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan won the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, taking control at mid-stretch and beating King Kreesa by 1¾ lengths.
Ridden by John Velazquez and carrying 129 pounds, Wise Dan ran a mile over the turf course in 1:34.
"Perfect trip. Broke well, was in the right place following the speed in the race," Velazquez said. "After that, it was pretty easy. I knew the horse on the lead was going to take me a long way. It ended up being a nice race down the lane with the horse on the lead. I was right where I wanted to be, not too far back. I knew at the time I pulled out it was going to be a fight down the lane and I know my horse is a fighter. It was awesome. It was a much tougher race than last year."
The victory extended the 6-year-old gelding's winning streak to eight races, including the 2012 Breeders' Cup Mile. He's ranked as the world's leading active thoroughbred.
"As I told some of you today, to prove that he's a great horse like everybody's talking about, he had to carry that weight," trainer Charles LoPresti said. "I think he proved that he's a very good horse."
Wise Dan, the prohibitive favorite, paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. He earned $300,000 for owner Morton Fink.
King Kreesa returned $3.80 and $2.40, and Lea, third of six, paid $2.40 to show.