Marc Ferrell's Called to Serve rallied from the back of a six-horse field in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct to take the 1 1/8-mile fixture for three-year-olds by a widening 4 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario. The 7-2 second choice, Called to Serve paid $9.60, $3.60 and $2.40.
Kept wide and in the clear down the backside, Called to Serve settled near the back of a compact field as odds-on choice Willy Beamin set a modest pace of :24 3/5, :49 1/5 and 1:13 1/5. Called to Serve made a wide rally into contention approaching the stretch, easily ran by the favorite and drew off to a convincing victory. The final time was 1:49 3/5 over a fast track.
"I don't think we could be happier right now," winning trainer Nick Canani said. "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."
Willy Beamin, who might wheel back in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap on Thanksgiving Day, held on for second by a head over Stephanoatsee, with Adirondack King another nose behind in fourth. Guilt Trip and Our Entourage completed the order of finish.
Called to Serve began his racing career in Southern California. Trained for two starts by David Hofmans, the gelded son of Afleet Alex was later to transferred to Peter Eurton, for whom he won twice and finished third in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and second in the Oklahoma Derby. Called to Serve debuted for Canani in the October 21 Temperence Hill at Belmont Park, where he finished second by a nose to Our Entourage. His record now stands at 10-3-1-3, $305,430.
Bred in Kentucky by Tracy Farmer, Called to Serve was produced by the Grade 3-placed Kris S. mare Andover Lady and was a $290,000 Keeneland September yearling. His third dam, the multiple Grade 3-winning Hot Novel, reared multiple Grade 1 hero Behrens and is the ancestress of multiple Grade 2 victor Cowboy Cal.
This female line is also responsible for two-time Grade 1 Whitney Handicap winner Commentator and Grade 3 winners Legislator and Muppet Man.