Repole Stable's hard-knocking Caixa Eletronica lines up with seven others at Aqueduct Racetrack for a title defense in the $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day.
Making the 69th start of his career, the 8-year-old son of Arromanches comes off a solid Oct. 6 victory in the Duck Dance Stakes going seven furlongs at Belmont Park. In eight starts of 2013 since winning the Fall Highweight last year, Caixa Eletronica won four races. Overall, his record stands at 23-9-11 with earnings of $1,848,505.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent the chestnut runner through an easy half-mile breeze in :51.24 on Nov. 22 in preparation for the six-furlong event.
"All indications are he's ready to go," Pletcher said.
Last year, Caixa Eletronica won the Fall Highweight by four lengths over four others including This Ones For Phil
and grade I winner Willy Beamin
. This year, he takes on multiple grade I winners in highweight Strapping Groom
, who carries 135, and The Lumber Guy
, assigned 133. Caixa Eletronica's weight assignment is third highest, at 132. He will be ridden from Post 2 by Javier Castellano.
Drawing Away Stable and David Jacobson's Strapping Groom has not won in two starts since his score in the Aug. 31 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course
. The 6-year-old son of Johannesburg
was third in the Sept. 28 Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) and fourth in the Oct. 26 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont.
The Lumber Guy, trained by Mike Hushion for Barry Schwartz, seeks his first victory since the Vosburgh of 2012. He was 11th in the Nov. 2 Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park
after breaking slow and failing to menace. Last year he finished second by three-quarters of a length to Trinniberg
in the Sprint, making a solid bid but failing to get up in time. The best run in just four starts of 2013 from the 4-year-old New York-bred Grand Slam
colt was a second in the Aug. 23 Chowder's First Stakes, three lengths behind Palace
at Saratoga. Mike Luzzi will be in the irons from Post 7.
Palace, also a New York-bred, came back from that summer score with a 1 1/4-length closing win in the Oct. 19 Hudson Handicap at Belmont. Those consecutive victories were the only stakes starts for the 4-year-old Linda Rice trainee, a son of City Zip
who makes his graded debut in the Fall Highweight for Antonino Miuccio. He will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez from the 4 hole and carries 129.
Also entered are James Marvin (gr. III) winner Sage Valley
for Michael Dubb and partners and trainer Rudy Rodriguez; Mike McCarty's Saturday's Charm
, third in the Bold Ruler (gr. III) last time out; Pennsylvania-bred stakes winner Jake N Elwood
, who races for David Duggan and J A G Racing along with the Jettany Thoroughbred Corp; and stakes winner B Shanny
, third in the Hudson in his last start for Schwartz and Hushion. B Shanny runs as a coulpled entry with The Lumber Guy.
$300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, approximate post time 2:42 p.m. EST), 3YOs & Up, six furlongs (dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Saturday's Charm (KY), J.L. Ortiz, 128, S M Asmussen
2. Caixa Eletronica (KY), J. Castellano, 132, T A Pletcher
3. Jake N Elwood (PA), L. Saez, 127, D P Duggan
4. Palace (NY), C.H. Velasquez, 129, L Rice
5. B Shanny (NY), I. Ortiz, Jr., 127, M E Hushion
6. Strapping Groom (KY), J. Alvarado, 135, D Jacobson
7. The Lumber Guy (NY), M.J. Luzzi, 133, M E Hushion
8. Sage Valley (KY), J. Rosario, 129, R R Rodriguez
Coupled Entry—B Shanny, The Lumber Guy