The racing career of See Tobe took a while to get going one might say. Making his first start at age four, the Florida-bred gelding finished sixth in his first race but bounced back to win in his second try-defeating $35,000 maiden claimers at Gulfstream Park in February of 2011. Adversity made an appearance in his third race as the Gary Capuano trainee was steadied early and eventually finished tenth.
Since then, however, See Tobe has been nothing short of being a stalwart as he has finished in the top three in each of his eight subsequent races save one. Saturday at Laurel Park near Baltimore, See Tobe picked up his first stakes win by taking the $102,250 Japan Racing Association Stakes against a field of nine 3-year-olds and older going a 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Breaking from post six with jockey Julian Pimentel aboard, See Tobe settled in fifth but was a somewhat closer than normal three and one-half lengths from early leaders El Commodore, Action Andy and
Eighttofasttocatch after a quarter mile in :24.42. In most of his career races, See Tobe has been a legitimate closer, coming from as far back as nine lengths when he won his last race against optional claimers Jul. 8 at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa. But it was a much slower pace in the Japan Racing Association so See Tobe was closer, even when five lengths off the lead after a half-mile in :48.82.
Inside the three-eighths pole, Pimentel began to urge See Tobe and he began picking up horses around the far turn. The two then split leaders Eighttofasttocath and Action Andy inside the sixteenth pole and began to pull away, winning by a length and one-quarter over Mr. Irons in second and Dannhauser in third. Eighttofasttrocatch finished fifth, favored Action Andy was seventh just ahead of El Commodore in eighth. The final time was 1:44.53.
“He was a little closer than he usually is but he made a big run,” said Pimentel. “We thought that with it being a little softer it would be more helpful for us. He ran great. Around the quarter pole I thought I had them.”
Bred in Florida by Wiest and Heathers 07, See Tobe now has four wins from 12 starts and the $60,000 payday in the JRA increases his bankroll to $150,461 for owner Non Stop Stable.
“We ran into some problems with him early and gave him plenty of time and did some surgery on him,” said Capuano. “He came back really good. He’s just been getting better. He’s a one run horse. He just keeps coming right at the end. You can’t give up on him. In the last forty yards he gives you an extra gear.”
See Tobe paid $17.80 and topped a $314.80 exacta and a $1,251 trifecta. He returned $9.60 to place and $5.20 to show. Mr. Irons paid $18.00 and $10.60 and Dannhauser paid $9.80 to show.
“Julian’s been on him a couple times and he thinks ‘I’m not going to get there, I’m not going to get there’ but if you keep after him the last forty yards he gives you another gear like he’s just taking off again,” added Capuano. “He can’t outrun me on the dirt. We’ll keep him on the turf.”
Photo by McCue