Called to Serve is Afleet Alex's newest stakes winner after the 3-year-old scored an impressive 4 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Discovery H. Nov. 17 at Aqueduct. Afleet Alex's offspring have enjoyed an excellent weekend at Aqueduct; on Friday, Miss Valentine was a handy winner of the $80,000 Chase the Dream S. Afleet Alex now has 11 stakes horses in 2012.
Ridden by Joel Rosario for only the second time in the $150,000 Discovery, Called to Serve sat behind tepid fractions of 24.63, 49.36 and 1:13.29 set by odds-on favorite Willy Beamin, then launched a four-wide rally through the stretch to take command before the eighth pole. The winning time for the 1 1/8 miles over a fast track was 1:49.77.
“It was easy for me,” said Rosario. “I just had to put him in the right spot. He was all game today. Every time I asked him, he was there.”
“He came to New York and ran (second) in the Temperence Hill (at Belmont Park) as a prep for this,” said trainer Nick Canani. “(Owner) Marc Ferrell gave me a great opportunity to move the horse 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,” Canani added. “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 is now 3-1-3 from 10 career starts and with a bankroll of $305,430. He also finished third earlier this year in the West Virginia Derby (G2) and Oklahoma Derby.
Bred in Kentucky by Tracy Farmer, Called to Serve was a $290,000 purchase at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale.