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Breeders' Cup 2017

Pletcher Has Three for Fall Highweight

The 98th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack has drawn 10 sprinters who will be among those putting on a few extra pounds on Thanksgiving Day.


Trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who earned his first graded stakes win in the 2010 Fall Highweight with Endless Circle, will be aiming for a repeat in this year’s edition with Flat Bold. Claimed for $75,000 on behalf of Michael Dubb at Saratoga Race Course, the 5-year-old Flatter gelding has made two subsequent starts for his new connections, finishing third to Rule by Night in the Duck Dance overnight stakes at Belmont Park on October 9 and fifth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler behind Calibrachoa.


With Jose Lezcano aboard, Flat Bold will leave from post position 5 under 129 pounds and was listed at 8-1 on the morning line.

General Maximus, a sharp winner of the Posse Hudson on New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park, will be making just his fifth start of 2011 in the Fall Highweight. After earning a second and a pair of fourth-place finishes in optional claimers earlier this year, the 4-year-old son of Freud had an undescended testicle removed over the summer and returned to post a repeat victory in the six-furlong Hudson.


“He ran great in his comeback race,” said John Terranova, who trains General Maximus for Goldmark Farm. “We’ll see how he fares in open stakes company.”


Corey Nakatani will ride General Maximus, who will carry 130 pounds from post position 7 and is 5-1 on the morning line.


Making his stakes debut Thursday will be the Linda Rice-owned and trained Frazil, a winner of two straight starter handicaps. The 5-year-old gelding has won five of his 11 starts at the Big A, and earned a lifetime best 106 Beyer over the main track on April 7.


“We thought we might do something a little more ambitious with him,” said Rice of Frazil, who is 7-3-1 from 12 starts this year with earnings of $154,800. “He’s a fun horse to have in the barn.”


Alan Garcia will be aboard Frazil, who drew the rail as the 126-pound lightweight in the field and was listed at 15-1 on the morning line.


Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered a trio of familiar faces from the Repole Stable in Calibrachoa, Driven by Success and Caixa Eletronica, but has not determined which, if any, will run.


“Driven by Success is going to run [at Aqueduct Sunday in an overnight stakes for New York-breds] and is still possible for the Fall Highweight,” said Pletcher. “We are taking a look with Caixa Eletronica and Calibrachoa while also considering the Cigar Mile with both. We will make a decision after entries are drawn [Wednesday].”


The entry was 6-5 on the morning line, with Calibrachoa drawing the outside under 135 pounds, Caixa Eletronica drawing post position 3 under 134 pounds and Driven by Success leaving from post position 7 under 130 pounds.


Sunrise Smarty will be shooting for his first stakes victory Thursday, having most recently finished sixth in the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on October 22. The 4-year-old Smarty Jones colt is 3-0-1 from six starts at the Fall Highweight distance, including an optional claimer at Saratoga and an allowance victory at the Big A in February.


“He looks great, he’s acting great, his flesh is great, so why not?” said Mike Hushion, who trains Sunrise Smarty for West Point Thoroughbreds.


At 5-1 on the morning line, Sunrise Smarty will leave from post position 4, carrying 130 pounds including Ramon Dominguez.


Rounding out the field, from post position 2 out, are Parent’s Honor, who enters off a pair of sprint victories at Parx Racing; Escrow Kid, a recent optional claiming winner at Charles Town, and Nathan’s H Q, second in a restricted stakes at Delaware Park last time out.


The field for the Grade 3, $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap:

Prog. No   PP






1                3

Caixa Eletronica

J Velazquez


T Pletcher


1a              7

Driven by Success

J Castellano


T Pletcher


1x             10


J Velazquez


T Pletcher


2                1


A Garcia


L Rice


3                2

Parent’s Honor

D Cohen


A Dutrow


4                4

Sunrise Smarty

R Dominguez


M Hushion


5                5

Flat Bold

J Lezcano


R Rodriguez


6                6 

Escrow Kid

O Castillo


C Doran


7                8

General Maximus

C Nakatani


J Terranova


8                9

Nathan’s H Q

C W Martin


C W Martin



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