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Calibrachoa Takes Gravesend

Calibrachoa reeled in his entrymate Driven by Success to give trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole of Repole Stable a sweep of the top two spots in the $65,000 Gravesend on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.


Claimed for $40,000 by his current connections out of a 4 ¼-length victory at the Big A on October 14 in his most recent start, Calibrachoa settled in fifth as Driven by Success dueled with Footcandles and Ju Jitsu Jax through an opening quarter-mile in 22.13. David Cohen gave Calibrochoa his cue midway on the far turn, and the colt made a steady run on the outside to grab the lead with a sixteenth to travel en route to a 1 ½-length triumph.


“We didn’t want Calibrachoa and Driven by Success butting heads, so I told David to keep an eye on him and the others,” said Pletcher. “He settled into a good spot, tipped out wide, and finished strongly. We’ll probably send him to the Toboggan [Grade 3, $100,000, January 22].


Calibrachoa, part of a coupled entry that went off as the 3-2 favorite, returned $5.00 to his backers in the crowd of 5,160 and completed six furlongs in 1:08.85. Previously trained by Steve Asmussen for breeder Nelson Bunker Hunt, the 3-year-old son of Southern Image is 5-3-1 from 11 starts and has earned $160,540, including the $39,000 winner’s share of the Gravesend purse.


“[Calibrachoa] was pretty straight-and-narrow,” said Cohen. “He settled well, circled the field, and gave me a very strong finish. He was obviously very well prepared.”  


The Gravesend was one of four wins on the day for Cohen, who also took Race 4 with Dr Disco ($4.10), Race 7 with Black Pen ($3.40), and Race 9 with Fortheloveof Anna ($7.20). The all-Cohen Late Pick 3 paid $36.60 for a winning $2 wager.


Endless Circle finished third in the Gravesend, with Ju Jitsu Jax, Ravalo, Footcandles, and Jack On the Rocks completing the order of finish. Mesa Sunrise was scratched.





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