Marc Ferrell’s Called to Serve rolled to a 4 3/4-length victory over 7-10 favorite Willy Beamin Nov. 17 in the $150,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack. The son of Afleet Alex covered the nine furlongs over the main track in 1:49.77 (VIDEO).
Called to Serve, trained by Nick Canani, was making his third start off a layoff in the Discovery and was carrying 117 pounds, four less than the highweighted Willy Beamin. Third behind Macho Macho and Bourbon Courage in the Aug. 4 West Virginia Derby (gr. II), Called to Serve ran third in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby then was second, beaten a nose by Our Entourage in the $83,000 Temperence Hill Stakes going nine furlongs at Belmont Oct. 21.
In the Discovery, rider Joel Rosario kept Called to Serve off the pace in fifth early as Willy Beamin set easy fractions of :24.63, :49.36, and 1:13.29 over a fast track. Called to Serve came with a wide move in the lane, collaring the leader well before the eighth pole. A :12.37 final eighth allowed Called to Serve to separate himself from the pack.
Willy Beamin held second, a head better than Stephanoatsee (a half brother to Shackleford ), who was a nose to the good of Adirondack Kid. Guilt Trip and Our Entourage completed the field.
The winner paid $9.60, $3.60, and $2.40. Willy Beamin paid $2.40 and $2.10. Stephanoatsee paid $3.10. The 4-6 exacta paid $22.60.
“He came to New York and ran in the Temperence Hill as a prep for this,” Canani said. “Marc Ferrell gave me a great opportunity to move the horse (from California) 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. 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.”
Called to Serve made his first six starts in California, breaking his maiden at Santa Anita Park and winning an entry-level allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park. He now has a 3-1-3 mark from 10 starts and has earned $305,430.
Out of the Kris S. mare Andover Lady, the dark bay or brown gelded Discovery winner was bred in Kentucky by Tracy Farmer. He was a $290,000 purchase out of the 2010 Kentucky September yearling sale from the Three Chimneys Sales consignment.
The winner is the third foal out of his dam, who ran third in the Pebbles Handicap (gr. IIIT) in 2003.