Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 3-year-old gelded son of Afleet Alex sat patiently behind tepid fractions of 24.63, 49.36 and 1:13.29 set by 3-4 favorite Willy Beamin, then launched a four-wide rally through the stretch to take command before the eighth pole. His winning time for the 1 1/8 miles over a fast track was 1:49.77.
The victory was the third in nine starts this year for Called to Serve, who began his career in California and was moved to trainer Nick Canani at Belmont Park earlier this fall.
“He came to New York and ran in the Temperence Hill [At Belmont Park] as a prep for this,” said 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,” he 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.”
The 7-2 second choice in the field of six 3-year-olds, Called to Serve returned $9.60 for a $2 win bet and earned $90,000. He is now 3-1-3 from 10 career starts and with a bankroll of $305,430.
Willy Beamin held for second, 4 ¾ lengths back, with Stephanoatsee, Adirondack King, Guilt Trip and Our Entourage completing the order of finish.
Favored Willy Beamin's defeat in the Discovery contributed to a triple Pick 6 carryover of $155,839 into Sunday's card at the Big A. The sequence, comprising races 4-9, begins with a New York-bred maiden claiming event which drew 11 entrants.