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The 61st running of the $100,000 Gravesend Stakes for 3-year-olds and upward on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack will see a talented field of six highlighted by a prominent pair for conditioner Jason Servis, who entered graded-stakes winners Firenze Fire and Happy Farm.
A 4-year-old homebred for Mr. Amore Stable, Firenze Fire enters the six-furlong Gravesend off a 4 1/4 length victory in the Fabulous Strike on November 27 at Penn National. The Poseidon's Warrior colt has made eight starts this year, including an impressive 4 ¾ lengths win in the Runhappy on May 11 at Belmont.
Race 9 at Aqueduct on Sunday, December 22 - Post 3:46 PM
|1||T Loves a Fight||12-1||Dylan Davis
|2||Firenze Fire||2-5||Jose Lezcano
|3||No Distortion||30-1||Eric Cancel
|4||Wonderful Light||5-1||Jorge Vargas, Jr.
|6||Happy Farm||7-2||Reylu Gutierrez
Firenze Fire has made starts in graded stakes this year, including runner-up efforts in the Grade 1 Forego and Grade 1 Vosburgh ahead of finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 2 at Santa Anita.
Servis assistant Henri Argueta said Firenze Fire is in prime condition entering the Gravesend.
"He's doing really well at the moment," said Argueta. "We know it's a little close coming back from the Fabulous Strike, but he came out of his last race well and has shown good energy. He certainly deserves the chance to pick up another stakes race following his campaign and that's what we'll hope for."
Happy Farm, a 5-year-old Ghostzapper gelding for M and A Racing was claimed for $30,000 in March at the Big A. Following a second-place finish in his first start for his new connections, Happy Farm has wheeled off four straight wins including a frontrunning win last out in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight.
"When we got him, we knew he had some talent and back form," said Argueta. "He's really turned a corner for us and has been able to stay healthy and has improved in every start. We took a shot with him in the Fall Highweight because he has done so well and he proved he belonged with a hard fought victory. Since then, he's continued to train well in the mornings and we'll see if he can pick up another stakes win here."
Drawing post 2, Firenze Fire will be ridden by Jose Lezcano. Happy Farm will leave from post 6 with Reylu Gutierrez aboard.
Looking to improve off a determined second-place finish in the Fall Highweight is Wonderful Light for trainer Michelle Nevin and Jay Em Ess Stable.
The 5-year-old Tiz Wonderful colt has made five starts this year, including two victories and a pair of second-place finishes in the Rumson on July 4 at Monmouth Park and the Fall Highweight.
"He ran a game race last time out," said Nevin. "Since then, he's continued to do well so hopefully, he can run another good race here."
With a record of 1-2-0 from three starts at Aqueduct, Wonderful Light will depart from post 4 under jockey Jorge Vargas, Jr.
Also entered is fan favorite T loves a Fight (Post 1, Dylan Davis) for trainer Orlando Noda in ownership with Noda Brothers, who will look to improve off a second-place finish in the New York Stallion Stakes Series Thunder Rumble division on November 24; No Distortion (Post 3, Eric Cancel) for trainer Bob Dunham and Jupiter Stable; and Seethisquick (Post 5, Joey Martinez) for owner and trainer Darmindra Dharamjit.
The Gravesend is slated as Race 9 on Sunday's 10-race card. First post is 12 p.m. Eastern.
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