An early duel between the race’s two Grade 1 winners set things up for Great Stuff to spring the upset in Saturday’s $100,000 Toboggan (G3) at Aqueduct.
Squeezed at the start, Great Stuff settled in fifth while saving ground as Vosburgh (G1) winner and 1-2 favorite Takaful and longshot Green Gratto, who upset last year’s Carter H. (G1), were heads apart through a quarter in :22.57 and :45.15.
Takaful finally dispensed with Green Gratto in mid-stretch, but by then Great Stuff was already gone. Swinging out for the drive in upper stretch, Great Stuff had wore down his rivals while racing in the five path and got home a 2 1/2-length winner in a time of 1:23.15 for seven furlongs on a fast track.
“With Takaful and [Green] Gratto up front, my plan was not to get too far out of it and ride the rail as long as I could,” jockey Dylan Davis said. “Turning for home, he had a lot of momentum and he just was very determined to get it done.
“I wasn’t worried about it [going wide into the stretch] because I had saved all the ground the whole turn. I knew the horse before and once I angle him out and get him into the clear, he knows what he’s got to do.”
Owned by Bruce Golden and trained by David Jacobson, Great Stuff paid $25.80.
Vulcan’s Forge, who trailed the field by as much as 14 lengths and was still last a furlong from home, rallied to nab Takaful for second by a half-length. Life in Shambles was fourth and was followed by Summer Revolution and Green Gratto.
This was the first career stakes win for Great Stuff, who was claimed by his present connections for $50,000 at Saratoga in August 2016. Subsequently a three-time allowance winner, he had run fifth in the Fall Highweight H. (G3), fourth in the $100,000 Gravesend, and third in the $100,000 Dave’s Friend at Laurel in three prior stakes engagements. His record now stands at 26-7-7-5, $408,902.
Great Stuff, six, is by Quality Road and out of the multiple stakes-placed Sumptuous, a Hennessy half-sister to Grade 3-winning producer Strike it Rich. Both were reared by Grade 2 winner Belle of Perintown.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbreds, Great Stuff’s fourth dam was Grade 1 winner Jeanne Jones, who also finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1).