OZONE PARK, NY – Michael Dubb’s Castle dominated at every call point as a mutual favorite in Sunday’s $ 100,000 Gravesend, a six-stage sprint for kids ages 3 and up on the main track fast from the Aqueduct racetrack.
Chateau, ridden from outermost Post 5 by Kendrick Carmouche, beat the brighter in the compact pack and rushed to the lead while Majestic Dunhill, who leapt into the air from Post 2, took lost ground early. Jaxon Traveler, second choice after the hour, was installed inside the castle by jockey Jose Lezcano while Drafté was third.
Going down the back stretch, Lezcano tilted Jaxon Traveler out of Chateau and approached a length of the lead, the pair spotting the rest of the field 6½ lengths through an opening quarter mile. in 23.30 seconds. Jaxon Traveler got closer to the turn as Carmouche got to work on Chateau, traveling four wide from the rail and descending in the center of the track.
Chateau was briefly threatened by Jaxon Traveler at the top of the stretch, but began to escape at the sixteenth pole, staying on task with a single forehand from the Carmouche crop to win the Gravesend by 3½ lengths in a time final. from 1: 11.26.
Jaxon Traveler stayed well to withstand a late charge to his exterior of draft honors and place held by three-quarter length. Majestic Dunhill completed the superfecta with Wendell Fong completing the finish order. Class 3 Bold Ruler winner Wondrwherecraigis was struck out.
Carmouche said Chateau was ready for the showdown with Jaxon Traveler.
“When the track favors his type of go, he loves it,” said Carmouche. “Today I knew I had to stop, stay outside and let him run. He dragged me there. He continued to fight. Every time he heard the other horse coming, he wanted a little more.
Lezcano congratulated Jaxon Traveler on his effort as a finalist.
“My horse has broken quite well,” said Lezcano. “I think he gave me a good race. He faced some good horses today and he gave me the best of himself. The other horse was just too fast.
Chateau coach Rob Atras said he was happy to see the 6-year-old gelding return to the winner’s circle.
“I think the stripe [of Wondrwherecraigis] was a factor, but I’m very happy with the way Chateau ran, ”said Atras. “He showed his speed and finished very well today.”
Chateau made his eighth start of the year in the Gravesend with a third place effort in the Fall Highweight 3½ class 3 ½ lengths behind Hopeful Treasure on November 28th. Atras said Chateau Gravesend’s effort showed an improvement over his previous start.
“I think he has moved forward,” Atras said. “It was a bit of a layoff and he must have worn out a bit at the start of the race and that probably kept him from coming home. But the race definitely helped him and it showed today.
Carmouche initially had a head start on Chateau when he led him to a third place in an optional contender last November. With Carmouche in irons for six of Chateau’s next eight starts, the duo won two races together, including a high-stakes victory in the Year 3 Tom Fool at Aqueduct in March.
“He really caught on that quickly when he attacked him,” Atras said. “He rode it very well today. He came out on top and he really knows the horse. He knows where to put him in the race and when to let go. “
The constant son of Flat Out has won or is on the board in 28 of 39 career starts, including board efforts at this year’s Grade 3 Runhappy at Belmont Park and Lite the Fuse at Pimlico on his way to his Gravesend score.
Raised in Kentucky by Preston Stables, Chateau improved his record to 39-8-10-10 with his win at Gravesend, taking $ 55,000 in victory to increase his total career earnings to $ 615,019. A winning bet of $ 2 on Chateau brought in $ 5.20.
Live racing will resume on Thursday, December 30 at the Big A and will include a carryover of $ 49,302 in the $ 1 Pick 6.
America’s Day at the Races will feature daily coverage and analysis from the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on FOX Sports networks. For the full broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA press release
Photo: Chateau (Chelsea Durand / NYRA Photo)