June 16, 2015
All eyes were on BEL last week for the final race in the TC and all the other Grade I stakes races so only four horses lined up for the Grade I Foster Handicap on Saturday evening at CD and that left the door wide open for hard-luck Duca Di Toscana, who finally came through with a career-defining win over gutsy gelding Masquerade City. A son of Grade I winner and super sire Il Miglio Fabro, from a dam who has produced multiple winners, he finally got to carry a reasonable weight after so many high imposts and overcame the good conditions to run down the speed and score with a top-class 99-speed rating, albeit in the second slowest running to date.
With only four horses running and a course labeled good to contend with, there really was no rush to get to the front of anyone in the Foster field and when Outward Bound (*0.75) broke slowly, Duca Di Toscana (1.25) inherited the front before Masquerade City (5.40) rushed up to the lead heading into the first turn. Blown And Left (87.75) held his ground between horses as favoured Outward Bound dropped well back and with Masquerade City blitzing the field into the backstretch, you had to wonder how fast they were actually going up front. Duca Di Toscana inched up past a half-mile in a tepid 49.67 but the strung out quartet still showed little enterprise with a half-mile to go and it almost looked like a turf race, with the set-up for a huge final furlong in the works. Two-lengths to the good and cruising through six-furlongs in 1:13.58, Masquerade City looked in complete control with the only danger looking to be Duca Di Toscana, who angled inside for a run turning for home. With a furlong to run, the powerful legs of the Graded Stakes winner on turf allowed him to sprint that little bit quicker than the pacesetter and in the end, there was no doubt about it as the margin of victory increased to a measured length and a half. Masquerade City held well in second, well clear of Outward Bound, who just got up inside of Blown And Left to grab the final cheque.
Jockey R Bejarano is one of the best in the sport over an off-track and Duca Di Toscana was the beneficiary of that prowess in the Grade I Foster Handicap, overcoming a runaway leader to score his first top-class win after a few good attempts. Logical stepping stones include the Gold Cup at SA and the Suburban at BEL, both with huge purses, and he might meet a similar bunch in the Grade I Whitney as a precursor to his guaranteed spot in the BC Classic later in the season.
Congratulations goes out to owner Nakamura Stables and their four-year-old gelding Duca Di Toscana, an inside winner of the Grade I Foster Handicap at CD!
Prediction Outward Bound / Duca Di Toscana / Masquerade City
Winner Duca Di Toscana
Four-year-old bay gelding
Il Miglio Fabro-Political Agenda (Faithful Companion)
Owner Nakamura Stables
Time 49.67, 1:13.58, 1:37.71, 1:49.79
Duca Di Toscana 1.25 inside run, angled clear, powerful in lane
Masquerade City 5.40 set pace, held well, unable to quicken
Outward Bound *0.75 broke slowly, late rally
Blown And Left 87.75 pressed, weakened
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: Grade I