10/14/2010 3:52PM

Boys At Tosconova dazzles in drill

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Barbara D. Livingston
Boys At Tosconova, winner of the Hopeful at Saratoga in his last start, is training up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Boys At Tosconova provided another reason to get excited about his showdown with Uncle Mo in next month’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs by working a sensational six furlongs in 1:10.90 on Thursday morning at Aqueduct.

With regular rider Ramon Dominguez up, Boys At Tosconova started a length behind the hard-knocking 5-year-old claiming horse Laysh Laysh Laysh and tracked him through a quarter in 24.44 seconds. Boys At Tosconova drew even with his workmate after a second quarter in 23.35, and then with Dominguez pulling briefly on the right rein, Boys At Tosconova came home in 23.11, while finishing about a length in front of Laysh Laysh Laysh.

“That’s basically the only thing I did, I just wanted him to finish up,” Dominguez said about pulling on the rein when he went by his workmate. “I had a long hold and I never reached for the whip, which I had in my back pocket. That was an older horse he breezed against, too, and continued to gallop out strong. It was as impressive as you could expect.”

Boys At Tosconova galloped out seven furlongs in 1:24.44 and pulled up a mile in 1:40.35.

“I just wanted to breeze him in company, I wanted him to go three-quarters in 1:12, that would have been fine,” trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. “He went a little faster than that, but I ain’t even going to worry about that. Ramon said he was in hand, never had to ask him, all what you would want.”

Boys At Tosconova is 2 for 3, with a 12-length maiden win at Belmont and a 1 3/4-length win in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga on Sept. 6.

Asked if he was intrigued about a meeting with the undefeated Champagne winner Uncle Mo, trained by Todd Pletcher, in the Breeders’ Cup, Dutrow said: “If his horse can stay with our horse, it’ll be intriguing. If our horse can stay with his horse, it’ll be intriguing. I wouldn’t trade places with them. I’m very happy where we’re at. We’re very happy, we’re very confident, we cannot wait to load him in the gate.”

Provided he remains on the six-day schedule he is currently on, Boys At Tosconova will have three more breezes before leaving for Kentucky on Nov. 2.

“The only thing I’m concerned about with him is him staying sound, staying the way he is,” Dutrow said. “He’s simple to train. He’s breezed five-eighths in 1:07, five-eighths in 1:08, and the riders like him just as much as when he breezes like he did today with a fast time. He’s just an unbelievable 2-year-old. I hope he carries that on to 3, 4, and 5.”

Dutrow quartet works on turf

Aqueduct’s turf course was open Thursday, and Dutrow took full advantage, working four of his stakes horses – including at least two Breeders’ Cup starters.

Three of the horses worked together, with the 2-year-old Rustler Hustler, with Dominguez up, going six furlongs in 1:22.83 while getting past Breeders’ Cup Mile contender Court Vision by a head at the wire. Court Vision, with exercise rider Michelle Nevin up, went in 1:23.03. Radiohead, under Jose Lezcano, was timed in 1:23.43.

While those may seem like slow times for six furlongs, it must be noted that a set of three traffic cones, commonly referred to as dogs, were on the course forcing the works to be done extremely far out from the rail. In fact, Rustler Hustler was pretty close to the outside rail as he rallied past his workmates in the stretch.

Rustler Hustler, purchased privately by Paul Pompa after the colt won the Continental Mile at Monmouth Park in August, is not nominated to the Breeders’ Cup and would have to be supplemented for $90,000 for the Juvenile Turf or $130,000 if he joined the Breeders’ Cup program, thus avoiding future years of supplemental payments.

Pompa said Thursday that he has not made a decision on whether to supplement.

“It’s nice to see he’s going the right way,” Pompa said.

In the work, Court Vision broke off alongside Radiohead, edged past him, finished his final quarter in 24.91 seconds over the good ground, but was outfinished by Rustler Hustler.

Dutrow said Rustler Hustler had not been training as well as he would have liked until Thursday.

“I like all my horses to be planting and pushing off the right way and reaching out the right way, and he hasn’t been doing that,” Dutrow said. “So I told Ramon if you’re not real happy with him, just give him a basic breeze, but if you’re happy with him keep letting him run, keep asking him, so he was very happy with that horse.”

Dutrow said he was pleased with Court Vision’s move, which was his second since he won the Woodbine Mile on Sept. 19.

“Court went really good, we’re happy with that,” Dutrow said. “I know Court’s up against it – that’s a really, really tough race – but he’s run big on that grass course and a couple of them haven’t.”

Dutrow also worked Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint contender Stradivisnky, who went six furlongs in 1:20.58 but appeared to be tiring nearing the wire.

Dutrow said he is still strongly considering pre-entering Acting Happy in the Ladies’ Classic. Acting Happy worked five furlongs in 1:01.02 on Wednesday.

Presious Passion unlikely to run on soft turf

Mary Hartmann was glued to the Weather Channel on Thursday and based on what she was watching, it didn’t look promising for her speedy gelding Presious Passion to run in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker Stakes.

“If you get the rain they say you’re going to get, I doubt if we’ll be there,” Hartmann said.

Presious Passion prefers firm turf, and the 1 to 2 inches of rain forecast Thursday night into Friday figured to soften the course up for the weekend. With or without Presious Passion in the field, it is the other Monmouth shipper, Violon Sacre, that looms the one to beat.

Violon Sacre, trained by Patrick Biancone, comes off a 1 1/2-length victory in the PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing. Others entered in the 1 1/8-mile race include War Hoot, Whatsthescript, Wesley, Interpatation, and Baletti.