Green Gratto returns Saturday at Aqueduct in Tom Fool

HorseRacingNation.com
March 08, 2017 09:50am
Green Gratto_Toboggan 2017_615x400
Photo: NYRA

On the heels of picking up a graded stakes victory in the Grade 3 Toboggan on January 16, salty 7-year-old veteran Green Gratto makes his return on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack headlining a field of eight in the $200,000 Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap for 4-years-old and up at six furlongs.

Owned and trained by Gaston Grant, and co-owned by his brother Anthony, Green Gratto, who is set to make his 52nd career start on Saturday, has collected five wins, three seconds and four thirds from 18 starts over the Big A's inner track and showed no signs of slowing down. Recording a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in the Toboggan, his first three-digit Beyer since May of last, Gaston Grant is confident in his horse's continued ability to perform.

"He's a consistent horse and we haven't done anything special with him," said Grant. "I'm only an overseer but he's a tough. He came out of the race [Toboggan] pretty good and he's proven this is home ground and that he loves the inner track."

Known for his style of running on or just near the lead, Green Gratto has utilized his neutral speed to win his first graded stakes in front-running fashion last time out. Grant said he would let regular rider Kendrick Carmouche dictate the tactics coming out gate Saturday. The pair will leave from post 2.

"We'll leave it to the jockey," added Grant. "We just have to get him to the gate and they'll all break together so we'll see how it goes."

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez will look to pick his first career victory in the Tom Fool, entering a pair of talented runners in All Star Red for Carl Lizza Racing Stables and Sassicaia for owner Robert LaPenta.

Finishing second by a head to Green Gratto in the Toboggan his lone start of the year,  All Star Red will depart from post 5 with Joesph Bisono aboard.

"Last time he ran a pretty good race," said Rodriguez. "We know that Green Gratto is a very solid horse. Our horse had everything go his way. Perfect ride, saved ground, no excuses. We just got beat by a better horse and will look to turn the tables around this time."

A 6-year-old son of Bernardini, Sassicaia a graded stakes winner in his own right capturing 2016 edition of the Toboggan will look to continue to improve off an encouraging second-place finish in an optional-claiming race on February 17 at Aqueduct.

"The race is tough, but I thought he needed a race the other day and he ran very well," added Rodriguez. "There's a lot of speed so hopefully he can come from the back and pick up the pieces. Hopefully he can put himself in good position and take it from there."

With Manny Franco aboard, the pair will depart from post 7.

Shipping into town from Kentucky and scheduled to make his first start over the inner track is The Great War for trainer Wesley Ward and owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Magnier and Allen Stable.

The 5-year-old son of War Front has yet to make a start this year but most recently ran fifth on November 24 in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct in which the top two finishers each came back to win their next starts.

With Julio Garcia in the irons, the pair will leave from post 6.

Rounding out the field is Chief Lion for owner and trainer David Jacobson, entering off an optional-claiming win at the Big A on February 17; Sir Rockport for trainer Guadalupe Preciado and Amenta Racing Stables; and King Kranz for Zayat Stables and trainer John Terranova.

Source: NYRA Communications

 

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