01/27/2012 5:22PM

Gulfstream: Boys At Tosconova prevails

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Barbara D. Livingston
Boys At Tosconova (right) beats Groupie Doll on Friday at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. was all smiles in the winner’s circle after his Boys At Tosconova survived a war with the filly Groupie Doll before coming out three-quarters of a length the best in Friday’s $64,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park. The victory was the third in a row for Boys At Tosconova, winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful at 2.

“He’s shown up the last three times,” said Dutrow. “It’s time to go into stakes with him now.”

The stakes Dutrow was referring to is his first major goal for Boys At Tosconova this winter, the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap at a mile on March 10.

Boys At Tosconova, with Javier Castellano aboard, dueled for the lead from the outset with Groupie Doll while racing in tough position along the inside the entire trip. Groupie Doll maintained a short advantage over the favorite to midstretch, at which point Boys At Tosconova gradually asserted his superiority under a strong hand ride from Castellano.

“I can’t say I was concerned, because this wasn’t a life of death situation,” said Dutrow. “I’d have rather seen him on the outside because I think this horse is best when he has a target, but Javier said he had the filly the whole way. He never hit him. He gave him a fabulous ride. I’m very happy with him. He beat a very tough filly today.”

Groupie Doll was game in defeat and is expected to return against her own kind in the Grade 3 Sabin on Feb. 25.