SJB Stable and Marcello Micozzi's Skyler's Scramjet won his graded stakes debut in impressive fashion, gaining the lead out of the turn and outkicking Do Share in the stretch to capture the 43rd running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap for 4-year-olds and up on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Veteran graded stakes winner Green Gratto went to the front, setting fractions of :22.47 seconds for the quarter-mile and the half in :46.55 with Skyler's Scramjet giving pursuit. Jockey Trevor McCarthy guided the 4-year-old Creative Cause gelding to the lead, going three-wide in the upper stretch, and completed six furlongs in 1:11.38 to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
“I kind of just left him out there, and I knew what Green Gratto wanted to do, so I wasn't really going to go out of my way to really chase him or anything like that ,so I just got him to relax and when he made that move, and he opened up a couple turning for home,” McCarthy said. “I was like ‘wow, they're really going to have to catch him,' so I was really impressed by him.”
Off as the 5-2 favorite, Skyler's Scramjet, carrying 115 pounds, won his third straight start and his fourth in his last five races for trainer Michelle Nevin. He paid $7.10 on a $2 win wager and increased his career bankroll to $292,872.
“Trevor did a great job,” Nevin said. “Smart move just sitting off that horse [Green Gratto]. He had plenty horse when he asked him in the upper stretch to finish. We'll see how he comes out of this race and from there decide where we go next. He certainly ran huge today, so that's encouraging.”
Runner-up Do Share, making his 2018 debut for trainer Linda Rice, finished in the money for the 11th consecutive time, hitting the wire three lengths ahead of Great Stuff in third.
“He was pretty far back early, but he seems like as he's getting older that he wants to lay back and make a big run,” Rice said. “I was concerned he wasn't going to get there but he put in a good effort. Looking forward, the [Grade 1, $400,000] Carter is seven furlongs, and it's right here in our home court so I think it makes sense.”
Life in Shambles, Classy Class, Spartiatis, Threefiveindia, Candid Desire and Green Gratto completed the order of finish. Favorite Tale was scratched.
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