After a pace duel softened up heavy favorite Takaful, Bruce Golden Racing's Great Stuff took full advantage and rolled late to earn his first graded win in the $100,000 Toboggan Stakes (G3) Jan. 27 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Fifth early in the six-horse field, eight lengths behind dueling grade 1 winners Takaful and Green Gratto, the 6-year-old son of Quality Road found his best stride late in the seven-furlong Tobaggan and cruised by the front-runners on the outside in the stretch to win by 2 1/2 lengths over fellow closer Vulcan's Forge.
Takaful, the Sept. 30 Vosburgh Stakes (G1) winner, broke best from post 2 and hit the front quickly, but was soon pressed by 2017 Carter Handicap (G1) victor Green Gratto from the outside. The pair set fractions of :22.57 and :45.15 through a half-mile before the late runners began to close in. Takaful continued to fight on through six furlongs in 1:10.32, but the pace took its toll. Great Stuff finished off the seven furlongs in 1:23.15.
"With Takaful and Gratto up front, my plan was not to get too far out of it and ride the rail as long as I could," said winning jockey Dylan Davis. "Turning for home, he had a lot of momentum, and he just was very determined to get it done."
Prior to his Toboggan breakthrough, Great Stuff had six wins from 25 starts, but had only placed in his stakes tries.
"He was training well and doing good, so we thought he'd have a nice shot and thankfully it worked out," said Doug Jacobson, assistant to winning trainer David Jacobson. "This is his distance. We think he's most effective here and Dylan rode him great. He rated him perfect and knew seven furlongs would hit him right between the eyes."
After Takaful came Life in Shambles, Summer Revolution, and Green Gratto, to complete the order of finish. Since his Carter victory in March of 2017, Green Gratto has failed to hit the board in his last nine starts, all against stakes competition.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings out of the Hennessy mare Sumptuous, Great Stuff now has $408,902 in earnings. He has been through the auction ring twice—at the 2015 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, where he sold for $145,000 from Lantern Hill Farm's consignment to Glasscock Financial Services, and at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he was purchased for $185,000 by A. Stevens Miles Jr. from Warrendale Sales.