Pletcher Holds Cards in Fall Highweight
The Thanksgiving Day Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. IIIT), the holiday feature at Aqueduct, drew a field of 10 older sprinters.
The $100,000 Fall Hightweight is run at six furlongs on the main track. Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered a trio of horses from the Repole Stable—Calibrachoa, Driven by Success, and Caixa Eletronica—but has not determined which of them will run. The entry was listed at 6-5 on the morning-line.
“Driven by Success is going to run (at Aqueduct on Nov. 20 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 (gr. I) with both. We will make a decision after entries are drawn (Nov. 23).”
Calibrachoa drew the outside under 135 pounds, Caixa Eletronica would carry 134 pounds, and Driven by Success 130 pounds.
Sunrise Smarty (5-1) will be shooting for his first stakes victory, having most recently finished sixth in the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on Oct. 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 Aqueduct 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.
Sunrise Smarty will carry 130 pounds including Ramon Dominguez.
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, the 5-year-old Flatter gelding is winless in two starts for his new connections.
General Maximus, a sharp winner of the Posse Hudson on New York Showcase Day at Belmont, will be making 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.
$100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, 2:42 p.m.), 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Dirt)
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