Green Gratto wins the 2017 Toboggan Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Green Gratto wins the 2017 Toboggan Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Viola Jasko/NYRA

Green Gratto Totes High Weight in Tom Fool at Big A

Seven-year-old Green Gratto comes into Tom Fool off victory in the Toboggan

Green Gratto, with $859,538 in lifetime earnings making him the most accomplished runner in the field, heads the list of hopefuls in the March 11 $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (G3) for older horses at Aqueduct Racetrack. Green Gratto, coming off a front-running score over the same track and distance in the Jan. 16 Toboggan Stakes (G3), will be surrendering from one to five pounds to his eight foes at six furlongs.

Although he has stalked in many of his races, the 7-year-old son of Here's Zealous has shown he can also win on the front end. In the past year he has faced top company such as A.P. Indian, Joking, and Stallwalkin' Dude while remaining competitive. This will be lifetime start number 52 for him.

“He’s a consistent horse and we haven’t done anything special with him,” said his trainer and co-owner Gaston Grant. “He’s tough. He came out of the Toboggan pretty good and he’s proven this is home ground and that he loves the inner track.”

Chief Lion could offer Green Gratto company on the front end. He has won a pair of allowance optional claimers in his only two Aqueduct starts and his stakes efforts have been quite respectable. A lively pace duel would benefit Sassicaia and King Kranz. Sassicaia won last year’s Toboggan but has gone to the shelf twice since. After running unplaced in last April’s Carter Handicap (G1) he was off until February when second to Chief Lion in an allowance optional claimer, running on late. King Kranz is a multiple stakes winner who was fourth in that same heat, coming back from a nearly-seven-month break. He has run well on off tracks and his connections will be rooting for rain.

The Great War has shown early speed in his last three outs but his efforts lately in black-type company are no cause for optimism. He has largely raced on turf and synthetics until recently. All Star Red missed a neck to Green Gratto in the Toboggan and was third behind that one and Stallwalkin’ Dude in the Gravesend Stakes in December. The closer is not without a chance here.

Spartiatis ran sixth in this race a year ago and although he enters off a victory in allowance optional claiming company his graded tries don’t put him in the vanguard here. He would also need a lively early tempo to set up his late run. Sir Rockport will be trying Aqueduct for the first time. His last victory came in May and this will be his 12th trip to the post since. He has not faced this quality of competition and will be a deserved longshot.

Entries: Tom Fool H. (G3)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, March 11, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Inner track
  • $200,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 4:50 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Spartiatis (KY)Rajiv Maragh115Leon J. Blusiewicz6/1
22Green Gratto (NJ)Kendrick Carmouche119Gaston Grant7/2
33King Kranz (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAngel S. Arroyo116John P. Terranova, II12/1
44Chief Lion (FL)Keeneland Sales GraduateCornelio H. Velasquez118David Jacobson5/1
55All Star Red (KY)John Bisono115Rudy R. Rodriguez4/1
66The Great War (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJulio A. Garcia116Wesley A. Ward10/1
77Sassicaia (KY)Manuel Franco116Rudy R. Rodriguez3/1
88Sir Rockport (VA)Dylan Davis114Guadalupe Preciado20/1