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Four Starz fired up for Four Leaf Clover

March 21, 2008

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After a crushing performance last week, Four Starz Sue is the 3-1 second choice in the $94,000 Four Leaf Clover on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. He will start from post six with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. The Buzzy Sholty-trained entry of Artist\'s View and Art At Heart received the slight nod as 2-1 favorite in the race.

If it had been up to Carmine Fusco, he would have owned a share of Four Starz Sue. He had approached Four Starzzzz Stable last spring in hopes of striking a deal to purchase the lightly raced pacer. Partners Jeff Cohen and Mike Sudaley would not sell Four Starz Sue, but they gave Fusco the opportunity to train him and the 5-year-old\'s star has since been on the rise.
\"I first started looking at him to purchase him,\" Fusco said.  \"Jeff Cohen called and told me he would never sell him to me, but he would let me train him.  He asked me what I liked about him.  I said if he was half as good as his mother, he is a good horse.\"

Fusco trained the dam of Four Starz Sue, Mary Sue Hanover, who earned nearly $300,000 and was a consistent presence in the mares open at Yonkers.

\"She was an open mare, but she was not sound,\" Fusco noted.  \"He has everything and has his health.\"

The son of The Panderosa made his first start for Fusco on April 2, 2007 and went on to finish first or second in 10 of 13 races before being turned out for a four-month respite. Four Starz Sue finished his 4-year-old season with a record of 11 wins, eight seconds and one third in 22 starts. He set a 1:50 track record for 4-year-old pacers at Pocono Downs on July 21, 2007. His career mark of 1:49.1 was taken in a non-winners of three conditioned race on June 1, 2007 at the Meadowlands. 

A $46,000 yearling purchase (sold as Marosa) at the Tattersalls Sale, Four Starz Sue did not race at two and made just eight starts as a sophomore

\"He is a really fast horse,\" Fusco said. \"I don\'t want to call him green since he is five, but he really hasn\'t raced. He didn\'t race at two and barely at three. Last year was his first full season.  I am not sure what the issue was.  It could not have been soundness issue because he is sound.  He showed no signs of problems and came back even stronger this year.\" 

Four Starz Sue got off to a strong start in 2008, finishing second in both preliminary legs of the Complex Series, but failed to hit the board in his next four starts.  It was an eighth-place finish on March 1 that was particularly troublesome to Fusco.

\"(Three) weeks ago, I didn\'t know what was wrong with him,\" Fusco said.  \"He was going in a race and then stopped really bad.  I was puzzled.  He raced on a very cold night.  I thought he was just sick, but we scoped him and there was a little blood.  So we put him on Lasix.\"

Four Starz Sue showed significant improvement in his first start on Lasix.  He moved three-wide on the final turn and rallied to finish second behind Artist\'s View in the opening round of the Four Leaf Clover Series on March 8.  In last week\'s second round of the series, he seized control at the half and drew off to a 3 1/4-length win in 1:50.  He sprinted the final quarter in :27.2.

\"He is sharp and ready to go in the (Four Leaf Clover) final,\" Fusco said.  \"He likes to be up front and do all the work.  He is not a trip horse.  He likes to tussle it up and he is not going to surrender. 

\"(In the first leg), he raced off the pace and was second,\" he continued.  \"He is very versatile.  He does not like a cover trip and the stop and go.  He likes to get into a stride and race.  He does not like to hit gear and then go behind cover and stop and go, or wait to go.\"

While Fusco has not mapped out the gelding\'s season beyond the Four Leaf Clover, he is certain of how far Four Starz Sue\'s ability can take him.

\"He is going to be an open pacer in the top condition,\" he said.  \"Right now, we want to just keep him on a mile track since he can go fast.  We are not going to take him to a smaller track.  He is no good on a half.  Right before I got him, he finished fourth in two minutes at Yonkers.  We took him to Pocono to prep him and he won in 1:53 from the eight-hole.\"

The $94,000 Four Leaf Clover final shares the spotlight with the $84,000 Matt\'s Scooter for 3-year-olds on Saturday night at the Meadowlands.  Post time is 7 p.m. (Meadowlands)
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