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Comma to the Top Puts Exclamation Point on Tom Fool

By Jon Forbes | 03/02/2013 06:40 PM ET
Comma to the Top
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Comma to the Top, making his second start in the span of a week, set the pace, lost the lead late, came back along the inside, and got a favorable bob on the wire to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap by a nose on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Leaving from post position 2 in the six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up, Comma to the Top shot to the lead under jockey Joel Rosario and led by 1 ½ lengths over Head Heart Hoof through an opening quarter-mile in 22.92 seconds. Multiple challengers lined up to offer bids following a half in 46.29, with Saturday’s Charm taking a narrow lead in the stretch and Head Heart Hoof poking his head in front of Comma to the Top to take second.

Comma to the Top, carrying the colors of Gary Barber, was not to be denied, however, as he re-rallied and regained the lead in the final stride to beat Saturday’s Charm by the narrowest of margins. Head Heart Hoof reported home a length behind in third and a neck in front of fourth-place finisher Consortium.

“He tries hard, this horse,” said Rosario. “To come in here and show up like that, he’s something special. He hung on there and kept going. I didn’t know whether I had won, it was tough. I’m glad for the horse he won.”

The 2-1 favorite in the field of 10, Comma to the Top returned $6.30 for a $2 wager and completed the distance in 1:10.26.

Comma to the Top won the 2010 Grade 1, 1 1/16-mile CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park as a 2-year-old, but his current campaign has focused on sprints. He entered the Tom Fool off three sprint starts at Santa Anita: a victory in an off-the-turf edition of the Grade 3 Daytona on December 29, a fourth in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes on January 19, and a third in last week’s Grade 2 San Carlos.

“We put ourselves out there and a lot of people were second guessing the decision [to run back in a week], but I live with the horse seven days a week and know the horse,” said winning trainer Peter Miller by telephone.

Comma to the Top, a 5-year-old gelded son of Bwana Charlie, earned $120,000 for his Tom Fool victory. He is 12-2-2 in 28 starts and has earned a shade below $1.2 million.

Smash finished fifth, followed home by Be Bullish, Johannesburg Smile, St Liams Halo, Heart Butte, and Off the Jak.