Life in Shambles rallied to the lead in deep stretch and prevailed by nearly a length in the $200,000 Fall Highweight (G3) on Aqueduct’s Thanksgiving Day program. Claimed for $62,500 by Ara Aprahamian three starts previously, the seven-year-old gelding completed the six-furlong distance in 1:12.07 under a 127-pound impost.
Heartwood left the starting gate as the co-131 pound highweight and dueled with Always Sunshine through early splits of :22.69 and :46.27 before forging his way to a short lead in the final eighth of a mile. But the 2-1 second choice could not withstand the late rally of Life in Shambles, who stalked the pace about four-wide before closing boldly in the latter stages beneath Irad Ortiz Jr.
“I got a perfect trip,” Ortiz said. “He broke good. He put me in a good position, and he was right where I wanted when I asked him. Turning for home, he just ran really well.”
Trained by Jason Servis, Life in Shambles left the starting gate as the 6-1 fifth choice among six runners. Heartwood held second by three-quarters of a length over the 6-1 Always Sunshine. It was another 3 ¼ lengths back to Celtic Chaos, who was followed by 7-5 favorite Runaway Lute and Win with Pride.
After placing in six stakes, Life in Shambles earned his first stakes tally and the son of Broken Vow has now earned $726,034 from a 41-10-7-4 record. The gray was bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud and hails from the stakes-placed Anabaa mare Life.
Life in Shambles was exiting a victory over allowance/optional claiming rivals at Belmont Park on September 29 in which he was entered for the $62,500 claiming price.
“We expected him to run good and he did,” assistant trainer Henry Argueta said. “He’s a warrior. He’s been there before. I think his experience helped him a lot.”