01/16/2017 12:14PM

Monday's TimeformUS Highlight Horse: A revitalized Green Gratto can turn the tables on Stallwalkin’ Dude in the Toboggan

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Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 2:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up

Ever since his win in the Tale of the Cat last summer at Saratoga, Stallwalkin’ Dude has been nearly unstoppable. He has racked up three stakes wins and placed in a couple of Grade 1 events during that time. The David Jacobson trainee is coming into this race in strong form after a decisive win the Gravesend, in which he overcame a moderate early pace and some traffic on the far turn by unleashing a devastating stretch rally. On the other hand, that race was run over a muddy surface and Stallwalkin’ Dude is typically at his best over wet tracks. He is a deserving favorite, but he does have some obstacles to overcome, and it’s not as if scared off any of his Gravesend rivals as three are back in the starting gate today.

The Pace Projector is predicting a situation that will favor Green Gratto, who is now forecasted to be loose on the lead after the scratch of The Great War. No one else is fast enough to stick with Green Gratto early, but I would imagine that runners like Story to Tell, Classy Class, and Life in Shambles will be in the first flight chasing him. Life in Shambles and All Star Red both ran reasonably well in the Gravesend as they went three- and four-wide around the far turn, respectively, before staying on nicely in the lane. I certainly want to use them underneath in exotics, but I think they’ll be hard-pressed to catch the projected frontrunner, or hold off Stallwalkin’ Dude.

While I respect the favorite, my top pick in the Toboggan is GREEN GRATTO (#1).

Slowly but surely this New Jersey-bred has been cycling back into top form. He first showed some signs of his old self in the Bold Ruler three back, and his two efforts since have been steps in the right direction. Despite the fact that he typically is not at his best over wet racetracks, he showed his customary grit in the late stages of the Gravesend, as he battled back for second after getting passed by heavy favorite Stallwalkin’ Dude in the last eighth. You can be sure that Kendrick Carmouche will be sending this horse from the rail and I think he may still have it in him to turn the tables on his rival.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 1

Trifecta: 1,6 with 1,6 with 2,5,7

Trifecta: 1,6 with 2,5,7 with 1,6