Sir Greeley Skims Rail To Take Toboggan
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Sir Greeley holds on for victory in the Toboggan.
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Betting favorite Sir Greeley saved ground in the early going, moved along that same path in the upper stretch to take the lead, and held on gamely under Eibar Coa for a 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO) March 8 in the slop at Aqueduct.

Man of Danger led most of the way in the six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up, but had to settle for second. Ravalo was third in a field of six. The final time was 1:10.22.

A 6-year-old Mr. Greeleygelding, Sir Greeley won for the ninth time in 27 starts for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, and owners Timber Bay Farm and Mrs. Thomas Walsh. He entered the Toboggan after being idle for three-and-a-half months, his last effort a well-beaten fifth in the Nov. 24 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct. His last win was three starts ago, a nose score in a starter handicap at Belmont Sept. 27

This was Sir Greeley’s first win over a sloppy track.

“We love this horse. He’s a barn favorite,” said Steve Moyer, assistant to Jerkens. “I didn’t know how he would do from the fence or over the sloppy track. He doesn’t break real sharp, but he was real strong. He had a real good week up here.

“Perhaps he’ll be back for the Carter (gr. I, April 5). Jimmy has always wanted to win that race. (Sir Greeley) just got beat in it a few years ago by Bishop Court Hill (2006, by a neck). This horse is a real overachiever.”

Man of Danger, breaking from post five under C.C. Lopez, battled with Ravalo for the lead in the early going. He had a short advantage, but had to work for it, posting ambitious fractions of :22.10 and :44.59 through a half-mile. Sir Greeley was in perfect position, sitting nicely in third under a comfortable ride from Coa.

Sir Greeley was still 3 ½ lengths behind at the top of the lane, but was making steady progress on Man of Danger, who had put Ravalo away. The brown gelding engaged the leader in mid-stretch, made the lead inside the sixteenth-pole and extended his lead to the wire.

“The trip was great,” said Coa, who bagged his second Toboggan win. “I sat right behind the speed. He was there for me the whole race.”

Jerkens won the Toboggan for the first time, although his father, Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, took the event in 1969 and 1970.

Out of the Concern mare Worry Not, Sire Greely has now banked nearly $590,000 in his career. He was bred in Kentucky by Fred Hertrich III and Brilliant Stables.

The winner paid $6, $3.50, and $2.50. The exacta (2-5) was worth $16.80.

(Chart, Equibase)

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