It had been a while since trainer David Duggan won a graded stakes.
To be exact, you would have to go back to Lucky charm in the June 28, 2009 edition of the First Flight Handicap (G2).
Ask him how many horses are in his stable and he’ll apply some wit and say, “Not enough.”
Yet none of that mattered Feb. 5 as Duggan ended that graded stakes drought in resounding fashion when Drafted took charge on the turn and pulled away to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $145,500 Toboggan Stakes (G3) over a muddy track at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“It’s been a long time between drinks,” Duggan said. “I’ve been in a layup for a while I would say.”
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Drafted, an 8-year-old Field Commission gelding, upended 1-5 favorite Happy Medium in the Toboggan, winning for the first time since March 2019 when he prevailed in the Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Emirates Skywards (G3) at Meydan for trainer Doug Watson and Misty Hollow Farm. Since returning to the United States last year, he was winless in eight starts for Duggan but was third last time out in the Gravesend Stakes at Aqueduct for his current ownership group of Dublin Fjord Stables, Racepoint Stables, Kevin Hilbert, and Thomas O’Keefe . They began racing him last fall.
“He’s been showing up without his head getting in front so it was nice to get him justified,” Duggan said.
Sent off at 6-1 odds under Jose Ortiz, Drafted paid $15.80 to win and covered the seven furlongs in 1:25.06.
He was bred in Florida out of the Darn That Alarm pondKeep the Profit by John Foster, Barbara Hooker, and the Field Commission Partnership and is his dam’s lone stakes winner from 10 foals.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Happy Medium was a huge favorite in the small field of five off a pair of allowance wins by a combined 12 lengths. The son of runhappy led by 1 1/2 lengths after four furlongs in :47.04 but offered little resistance when Drafted surged alongside on the turn. He wound up third, six lengths behind the runner-up, Double B Racing Stables’ Repo Rocks (carpet ).