gobbled up ground in the stretch and onto a two-length victory over Jack On the
Rocks Thursday afternoon in the 97th
running of the Grade 3, $100,000
Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey
Edgar Prado and carrying 129 pounds, the 6-year-old son of Precise End stayed in
mid-pack, behind blistering early fractions of 21.80 and 44.80 set by favored
Wildcat Frankie, then advanced steadily on the turn and hit his best stride late
to barrel past the front-runners approaching the sixteenth pole.
His winning time for the six
furlongs was 1:09.79.
“The race set up beautifully,”
said Prado. “He was behind and worked his way between horses and finished
Claimed in April for $14,000 by
trainer Rudy Rodriguez on behalf of Vincent Scuderi and James Riccio, Endless
Circle went on to win four of his next five starts, including the James Marvin
and Easy N’ Dirty Stakes, before placing sixth as the favorite in the Hudson on
New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park on October 23.
“He came out of the Hudson with a little
infection,” said Rodriguez, a former jockey who with today’s victory saddled his
first graded stakes winner. “We got that cleared up, and today he showed up.
He’s a horse who’s been very good to us.”
Sent off at 9-2 by the
Thanskgiving Day crowd of 2,989, Endless Circle returned $11.60 for a $2 win
bet. The Fall Highweight victory, worth $60,000, boosted Endless Circle’s
earnings to $437,768 and his record to 11-5-0 from 25 starts.
Jack On the Rocks held for
second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Wildcat Frankie, who in turn was
followed by Mesa Sunrise, Todd Got Even, Mitigation, and Wall Street Wonder.
Emma’s Posse was scratched.
Go Go Shoot, the second choice in
the field of eight, stumbled and fell while under a drive in the stretch and
unseated his rider, John Velazquez. Neither horse nor jockey suffered apparent
injury and both were able to walk away.