Calibrachoa stalked longshot pacesetter Diski
Dance and drove past that opponent in the stretch to post a repeat victory in
the Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Part of a coupled entry that went off as the 2-5 favorite, the Repole
Stable representative bobbled at the start but recovered to track Diski Dance
through fractions of 23.35 and 46.07. Jockey Cornelio Velasquez set down
Calibrachoa inside the quarter pole, and the dark bay passed Diski Dance with a
furlong remaining before going on to a 2 ¼-length decision. Caixa Eletronica,
coupled in the wagering with the winner, was third.
“First jump out of the gate, he stumbled, but he stayed in the
race,” said Velasquez. “I stayed right there in second easy, and
waited until the last three-sixteenths. I asked him, and he passed. I had a lot
of horse. He was the best horse in the race.”
Calibrachoa completed six furlongs in 1:09.47 and returned $2.90 for a
The 2012 Toboggan was Calibrachoa’s first start since his
third-place finish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap on November 26. It was
his fourth Grade 3 stakes victory at the Big A, having also taken the 2011 Tom
Fool Handicap in March and Bold Ruler in November in addition to his two
Toboggan scores. Overall, he is 4-for-4 on the inner track and 2-for-3 on the
main track at Aqueduct.
Knowing Calibrachoa’s affinity for Aqueduct, winning trainer Todd
Pletcher said the 5-year-old could resurface in the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool
Handicap on March 3, Gotham Stakes Day.
“He’s so good at Aqueduct we have to look at [the Tom Fool],”
Calibrachoa, who was bred in Kentucky
by Nelson Bunker Hunt, is 9-3-4 from 19 starts. His lifetime earnings stand at
$546,040 after receiving $90,000 for his 2012 Toboggan victory.
“He loves Aqueduct,” added winning owner Mike Repole.
“But he’s run well at Belmont and
run well at Saratoga.
You guys know how much I like New
York, so we keep him here.”
Pletcher added that Caixa Eletronica remains under consideration for
the Grade 2 General George Handicap on February 20 at Laurel Park.
Candyman E was fourth, followed home by Flat Bold, Rule by Night, and
Dr Disco. J J’s Lucky Train was scratched.