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Fourstardave: The Sultan of Saratoga

Dave won at least one race at Saratoga every year for eight straight years. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see him win there, even though we go to Saratoga every year. Finally, in 1995, the timing was right and I did see him race, although he finished fourth. It was his last season at the track after coming back from a leg injury.

Fourstardave was such a crowd favorite that once he was saddled the groom walked him not just around his own tree in the Saratoga paddock, but around the entire walking ring as the crowd cheered. Dave knew the applause were for him and he just ate it up. Even though he didn't win the race, the people at the rail cheered him as he came back.

I painted this portrait for his trainer, Leo O'Brien, from pictures that I took that day. Fourstardave now resides in Florida. There is a stakes race named in his honor, run each year during the Saratoga meet.

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