Afleet Alex's Called to Serve put on a show in the $125,000 Broad Brush S. on New Year’s Eve at Laurel Park, winning by 5 3/4-lengths with an awesome stretch run that points to bigger things for the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred.
With the victory, Called to Serve, who won Aqueduct's Discovery H. (G3) on Nov. 17, turned out to be the leading earner of 2012 for Afleet Alex. He is one of three multiple stakes winners by his sire, who finished the year with $4,586,561 in progeny earnings. His 2013 stud fee is $15,000 LFS&N.
With Joel Rosario in the irons, Called to Serve was keen from his rail post and secured the second spot going into the first turn. However, Rosario took back slightly as the field made its way onto the backstretch, and Called to Serve raced in fourth about 3 lengths off the pace. Rosario moved his mount off the rail for clear running and Called to Serve began a steady advance around the final turn.
Turning for home, Called to Serve moved alongside Eighttofasttocatch, and with a nudge from Rosario at the eighth pole, Called to Serve quickly pulled away and was on his way to an easy victory, with Rosario wrapping up in the final 50 yards. The Nick Canani trainee covered the nine furlong distance in a very good 1:50.75, netting a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106, a number that compares very favorably with top-class graded stakes handicap horses.
“This horse is doing real good right now,” Rosario said. “I just wanted to keep him out of trouble. He was doing it really easy. I passed the horse inside me really quick and got the job done. I think he is a nice horse. This is the third time I have ridden him and he has been better each time.”
“He’s really only getting better. He’s really growing up and he’s learning how to be a real racehorse,” added Canani. “He is a very versatile horse and the longer they go the better he is. He is becoming a really nice horse.”
With the $60,000 payday, Called to Serve has earned $365,430 and is 4-1-3 in 11 starts. Besides his two stakes wins, he's also placed in the West Virginia Derby (G2), Oklahoma Derby, and Temperence Hill S., all in his last 5 starts.
Canani said his stable star would run next in one of three graded races: the Donn H. (G1), Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park , the Santa Anita H. (G1), Feb. 2, or the Strub S. (G2) March 2, at Santa Anita Park.