Trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole teamed up to win the Grade
3 Toboggan in 2011 with Calibrachoa,
and the tandem could have a pair of starters in the 2012 edition of the
Repole said via email that he could run both Calibrachoa and Caixa Eletronica in the Toboggan, which
carries a purse of $150,000 and will be contested February 4. The pair
respectively finished third and fifth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap on
November 27, with Caixa Eletronica returning to win the Rise Jim overnight
stakes by 4 ¾ lengths on January 8. Calibrachoa, who added victories
Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap and Grade 3 Bold Ruler following the
Toboggan last year, is unraced since the Cigar Mile.
Caixa Eletronica has been aiming for the Grade 2 General George
Handicap on February 20 at Laurel Park and will remain probable for that race
if he runs in the Toboggan, Repole said.
“[We’re] leaning towards running both [horses],” said
Repole. “Caixa can come back and still run in the General George, even if
the General George is [February 20].”
In addition, Repole and Pletcher have How
Do I Win, fourth in the Count Fleet on January 7, under
consideration for the Grade 3 Withers, the featured race on the February 4
* * *
Among those pointing to the Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan is inner-track
star Dr Disco, who won an optional
claimer on January 2 to kick off his 4-year-old campaign. The New York-bred son
of Disco Rico will be making his graded-stakes debut in the six-furlong
Toboggan, and trainer Bruce Brown is hoping he will rise to the occasion.
“If we’re going to do it, this is the time to take a shot
and decide whether he is going to be a nice New York-bred stakes horse or step
up,” said Brown. “He loves the inner track [5-1-0 in six starts].
He hugs the rail around the turn. Sometimes he drifts a little bit in the
stretch but he corners very well. I think that’s what helps him at
Aqueduct with the tighter turns. While some of the other horses might be struggling
to get around the turn, he scoots around there and saves a lot of ground.
That’s a big advantage for him.”
While most of Dr Disco’s victories have come on the lead, in his
most recent start he came three-wide approaching the quarter-pole before going
onto a 2 ½-length win.
“It’s good to know he’s not a one-dimensional horse,
that you can ease him back and that he doesn’t need to be in
front,” said Brown. “It wasn’t the plan last time, it just
worked out that way. That’s the thing with [jockey] Mike [Luzzi] –
he knows him so well. With Dr Disco maturing, he’s gotten to the point
where you can do that with him and he still responds. He still has his speed,
but he doesn’t have to be in front.”
Others pointing to the Toboggan are Candyman
E, winner of the 2011 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel
Park last time out; Diski Dance,
making his stakes debut on the heels of an optional claiming victory at Laurel
on January 5, and J J’s Lucky Train,
winner of 2011’s Grade 3 Bay Shore who was most recently third to Caixa
Eletronica in the Rise Jim on January 8. Flat
Bold, Hillswick, Rule by Night and Temecula Creek are questionable.