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Aqueduct: Comma to the Top refuses to lose in Tom Fool
By Dave Litfin
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Comma to the Top was caught late in last Saturday’s San Carlos at Santa Anita, and he was caught late once again in the Tom Fool Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct. Only this time, the jet-setting Comma to the Top battled back to win by a nose over Saturday’s Charm, thereby putting an exclamation point on a busy week.
Comma to the Top flashed his California speed to grab the early lead while kept well out in the track by Joel Rosario, and ran the first quarter in a manageable 22.92 seconds while pressed by Head Heart Hoof.
Leaving the turn, Comma to the Top came wider still after a half-mile in 46.29 seconds, with Head Heart Hoof still breathing down his neck, and maintained a short lead coming to the eighth pole by running the fifth furlong in an enervating 11.85 seconds.
Comma to the Top looked to be in deep water at that point as Consortium rallied along the rail, Saturday’s Charm swept up on the far outside, and Head Heart Hoof refused to go away.
Saturday’s Charm, off slowest and widest into the lane, forged to the lead in deep stretch to loom an almost certain winner, but Comma to the Top came back in the final strides to prevail by a nose, with Head Heart Hoof one length farther back in third and Consortium a neck after that.
“He tries hard, this horse,” said Rosario. “To come here and show up like that, he’s something special. He hung on there and kept going. I didn’t know whether I had won. It was tough. I’m glad for the horse he won.”
Comma to the Top, whose only prior start outside California was a last-place finish in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, carried top weight of 118 pounds and paid $6.30 to win as the favorite in the field of 10 older sprinters, after running six furlongs in 1:10.26 on a fast inner track.
Already a millionaire and a graded stakes winner on turf, synthetic and dirt, he improved to 12-2-2 from 28 career starts for trainer Peter Miller.
“The horse performed pretty well [in the San Carlos]…so we took a shot, considering the horse came out of it very good,” said assistant trainer Martin Contreras, who accompanied the 5-year-old gelding to New York. “This guy is a tough fighter, and when he’s in his right moment he fights pretty tough.”
What a hickory piece of racehorse.. This horse is probably the last class of 2008 horse standing who went through the Derby trail and is still running.. Pretty impressive..
Simply no other jock on the planet gets that horse home but Joel.......horse looked beat 3 to 4 times and he never uses the whip makes other jocks look stupid sometimes, great jock on front end and coming from off the pace as well.
That was a gutsy win.
Rider, Horse, Trainer, and Lady Luck allowed this horse to run a great race, cross the country, and run an even greater race. Oh, and give the owner even more coodoos for going for it!!!!
Nothing against Comma but Saturday's Charm refused to change leads and was just hanging on his left lead at the wire. Saying Comma refused to lose is a bit of an overstatement.
Wow! A nostril made the difference here. The fact that CTTT was on the downstroke while SC was gathering up was just pure luck. Very evenly matched.
Back in one week, cross-country trip, passed in mid-stretch, and he wins. Good for Comma and his team. Out here in Califorornia, I've been a fan of Comma going back to his 2 year old days, and was pleasantly surprised when he stretched his speed to just miss in the 2011 Santa Anita Derby. The Kentucky Derby probably wasn't the right move, but they've done well by the horse since. I thought Comma ran huge last week in the San Carlos, but I never expected to see him back in another graded stakes so soon, and on the other side of the continent. Comma is a millionaire, a graded stakes winner on all 3 surfaces, and he clinched the Del Mar training title for Miller last year.
This was the best race of the day in my opinion. I thought Comma was done three or four times and yet he simply refused to give in.
I cried...call me female...it was sheer GUTS...HEART AND RACING FROM OLD...What a fighter...and a true champ !
78 speed on the interview with rosario - dude, practice your english
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 01:44PM
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