Dads Caps, Green Gratto meet again in Toboggan

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

January 21st, 2016

Aqueduct may have been forced to reschedule its Martin Luther King Jr. feature, the $150,000 Toboggan S. (G3), from Monday to Sunday, but it doesn’t appear to have harmed the six-furlong sprint in terms of participation.

If anything it helped as three more runners, including Fall Highweight H. (G3) third Fabulous Kid, joined the original cast of six when the race was redrawn.

Dads Caps is still the top draw in the Toboggan as he makes his first start in more than seven months.

The six-year-old bay is no stranger to Aqueduct’s inner dirt, having racked up a 2-5-1 mark from eight starts on the surface including a runner-up effort in last year’s Toboggan. Dads Caps parlayed that into a title defense victory in the Carter H. (G1) two races later on the main track, and is now following the same path in hopes of a Carter hat trick on April 9.

"I don't see any negatives with him; he's doing very good," trainer Rudy Rodriguez reported. "Everything looks like he's moving up. He's been working very good since we got him back from vacation, so it looks like he's ready to run.

"We've definitely got the Carter in mind," Rodriguez added. "Usually when they're away from the races that long, they look like they need a race. Hopefully, this is something to move forward from. He looks like he runs good fresh, so hopefully we can get a decent race and maybe just freshen him up and take it from there. But if there's another race coming up, maybe we can try him again. We're still a long way from home."

Dads Caps was given a brief freshening following his 2015 Carter score, showing up at Belmont Park in early June to be third in the True North S. (G2), but exited that contest with a small knee chip. He wouldn’t compete again in 2015.

"We're ready, we're anxious to see him run back," Rodriguez said. "If he can perform the way he was running last year, we'll be in good shape. He's just got to run his same race because Green Gratto is a tough customer right now."

Green Gratto gave Dads Caps a run for his money in last year’s Carter and has really come on in his last few starts. The dark bay six-year-old ran fourth in the Bold Ruler H. (G3), missed by only a nose against allowance/optional claimers and then claimed victory in both the Fall Highweight H. and Gravesend S. for trainer Gaston Grant.

Also returning from the original Toboggan field are Alex the Terror, third in the Gravesend last out; Heaven’s Runway, third in the Bold Ruler and fourth most recently in the Dave’s Friend S.; stakes scorer Sam Sparkle; and two-time winner Sir Rockport.

Joining up for Sunday’s rescheduled match are Grade 2-placed dual stakes winner Captain Serious; Grade 3 runner-up Mewannarose, who was last of five in the 2015 Toboggan; and the aforementioned Fabulous Kid.

Dads Caps photo courtesy of NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography