Six set to line up in Fall Highweight
Horses will join many people in packing on a few extra pounds this Thursday as a field of six goes to post for the 99th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at Aqueduct.
Assigned the highweight of 135 pounds for the six-furlong sprint will be Poseidon's Warrior, who this past summer at Saratoga pulled a 36-1 stunner in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt for his first Grade 1 win. The four-year-old son of Speightstown subsequently finished third in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational at Belmont Park and then a dull 14th in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.
"Initially, we thought it would be too quick from the Breeders' Cup after shipping from coast-to-coast and back, but he's doing very well," said Butch Reid from Philadelphia, where he trains Poseidon's Warrior. "He kind of sleep-walked around there at Santa Anita, but back in the cool weather, he's a different horse. He had a great blowout down the lane (Saturday) morning, 22 and change, and that kind of made our minds up."
Poseidon's Warrior is cross-entered for Wednesday's $200,000 Fabulous Strike at Penn National, where he will only have to tote 122 pounds. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has been named to ride the dark bay colt, who is 8-5 on the Fall Highweight morning-line, in both races.
Alan Garcia had the call aboard Willy Beamin for the Discovery and retains the mount for the Fall Highweight, while Ramon Dominguez will be on This Ones for Phil.
Making his graded debut in the Fall Highweight is New York-bred stalwart Mine Over Matter, most recently victorious in the Hudson on New York Showcase Day at Belmont. The Mineshaft five-year-old is 1-2-1 from seven starts over the Big A's main track, including a last-to-first victory in the restricted Fabersham overnight stakes in April.
"He should get a good set up (in the Fall Highweight)," said trainer Mike Hushion, who has tabbed John Velazquez to pilot Mine Over Matter. "I'd like to win a graded stake with him, (owner) Mr. (Chester) Broman would like to win a graded stake with him."
Rounding out the field is Small Town Talk, second most recently in the Frank "Pancho" Martin overnight stakes on October 19 at Belmont. The Yes It's True colt was third in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin in his graded bow in August at Monmouth Park.
Earlier on Aqueduct's Thursday card, nine juvenile fillies will go in the $80,000 Lie Low. Mariel n Kathy, Coconut Shrimp and Flashy Gal, the top three from the Chelsea Flower on October 28 at Belmont Park, as well as Grade 3 Miss Grillo fourth-place Fly Again are all entered in the one-mile turf affair.
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