Summer Revolution Looks Live in Toboggan Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 26th, 2018

Though most of the attention this weekend will be on the Pegasus World Cup, handicappers might also want to keep an eye on the $100,000 Toboggan Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.

The field for the seven-furlong sprint is led by #2 Takaful, who is using the Toboggan as a prep for the prestigious Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) two months from now in Dubai. On paper, Takaful looks tough to beat—as a three-year-old in 2017, he won the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) against a tough field of older rivals and also ran second in the King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I) against his own age group. Takaful’s most recent start yielded a last-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), but I think that effort is forgivable since he set a very fast pace while racing close to the rail on a day when the inside was the worst part of the track.

But thanks to his obvious credentials, Takaful will be a very short price in the Toboggan (he’s 4-5 on the morning line), and I’m not sure that he’s unbeatable. For what it’s worth, he’s 3-for-4 sprinting six furlongs and 0-for-4 at longer distances, hinting that the seven-furlong distance of the Toboggan—especially coming over the slow, tiring track at Aqueduct—could be a bit of a test for him. He’ll also be facing another serious speed horse in #6 Green Gratto, who won the Carter Handicap (gr. I) in gate-to-wire fashion over this track and distance last April.

Since Takaful will be such a short price, I’ll take a shot against him with #1 Summer Revolution. He’s 3-for-4 in sprint races on dry tracks, including a couple of victories at this distance during the summer of 2016. Two starts back, he won a six-furlong allowance sprint at Belmont after rating a few lengths behind the leaders early on, and while he could only finish tenth in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) last time out, I’m tempted to forgive that effort since he was running a mile and made a decent mid-race move into a fast pace over a slow track.

As an extra bonus, Summer Revolution will carry just 114 pounds, nine pounds less than Takaful and Green Gratto. I envision Summer Revolution working out an ideal trip stalking the pace while saving ground, and from there he should produce a strong finish. At anywhere near his 8-1 morning line odds, I think he’s worth a play.

Let’s keep things simple and box Summer Revolution and Takaful in the exacta while adding a few other horses for a trifecta:

$6 exacta: 1,2 with 1,2 ($12) $1 trifecta: 1,2 with 1,2,5,6 with 1,2,5,6 ($12)

Good luck!