Called to Serve
from last to first to earn his first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s 68th
running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 3-year-old gelded son of Afleet
Alex sat patiently behind tepid fractions of 24.63, 49.36 and 1:13.29 set by 3-4
favorite Willy Beamin, then launched a four-wide rally through the stretch to
take command before the eighth pole. His
winning time for the 1 1/8 miles over a fast track was 1:49.77.
“It was easy for me,” said winning jockey Joel Rosario. “I
just had to put him in the right spot. He was all game today. Every time I
asked him, he was there.”
The victory was the third in nine starts this year for
Called to Serve, who began his career in California
and was moved to trainer Nick Canani at Belmont Park
earlier this fall.
“He came to New
York and ran in the Temperence Hill [At Belmont Park]
as a prep for this,” said Canani. “[Owner] Marc Ferrell gave me a great
opportunity to move the horse and give him to me. I don’t think we could be
happier right now.
“I was a bit concerned when I saw the slow fractions, but I
can only control my own horse,” he added. “The last three weeks he’s made great
strides, put on weight, filled out, and he was doing super. Around the turn he
was in the clear and didn’t have any traffic trouble.”
The 7-2 second choice in the field of six 3-year-olds,
Called to Serve returned $9.60 for a $2 win bet and earned $90,000. He is now
3-1-3 from 10 career starts and with a bankroll of $305,430.
Willy Beamin held for second, 4 ¾ lengths back, with
Stephanoatsee, Adirondack King, Guilt Trip and Our Entourage completing the
order of finish.
Favored Willy Beamin's defeat in the Discovery contributed
to a triple Pick 6 carryover of $155,839 into Sunday's card at the Big A.
The sequence, comprising races 4-9, begins with a New York-bred maiden claiming
event which drew 11 entrants.