Chateau seeks return to winning form in G3 Fall Highweight
by Keith McCalmont
Michael Dubb’s Chateau will carry a co-field high 131 pounds in Sunday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight, a six-furlong handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 108th renewal of the Fall Highweight, slated as Race 8, is one of three stakes on Sunday’s card, along with the $150,000 Autumn Days at six furlongs on the outer turf for fillies and mares; and the $100,000 Tepin for 2-year-old fillies competing at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf.
In total, the week’s slate at the Big A will offer 10 stakes worth more than $1.7 million in purses. First post on Sunday’s card is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
Trained by Rob Atras, Chateau finished seventh last out in a Parx allowance sprint under returning rider Kendrick Carmouche on September 14. However, the 6-year-old Flat Out gelding boasts a tremendous record over the Big A main track with a ledger of 10-5-2-2 for purse earnings of $318,443.
"He likes to run around those turns. The turns are a little sharper at Aqueduct as opposed to Saratoga or Belmont and he really seems to relish the surface. It's the perfect distance for him," Atras said.
Chateau has enjoyed a productive 2021 campaign, posting a record of 6-2-1-1 led by a score in the six-furlong Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap at the Big A in March. He followed that effort with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in April at Aqueduct and a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Runhappy in May at Belmont.
Chateau worked a sharp half-mile in 47.88 seconds over the Belmont dirt training track on November 14.
"We usually don't breeze him too fast, but he was really strong that day," Atras said. "We're hoping that's an indication that he's ready to run a big race."
Carmouche retains the mount from post 1.
Sir Alfred James, trained and co-owned by Norman Cash with Lola Cash, will also carry 131 pounds. The multiple stakes-placed son of Munnings has flourished in his 5-year-old campaign, posting a record of 9-3-2-2 for purse earnings of $310,912.
Claimed for $62,5000 out of a winning effort in an optional-claiming sprint in September at Churchill Downs, Sir Alfred James followed with a fifth in the Grade 2 Phoenix in October at Keeneland ahead of a close third, defeated a neck to Necker Island, in the six-furlong Bet On Sunshine in November at Churchill.
Sir Alfred James enters from a head score over graded-stakes winner Long Range Toddy in a seven-furlong optional-claiming sprint on November 17 at Churchill.
John McKee retains the mount from post 6.
Stronach Stables’ homebred Green Light Go will look to recapture the form of his spectacular juvenile campaign for trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
The now 4-year-old Hard Spun colt won 2-of-3 juvenile starts in 2019, including a win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special ahead of a runner-up effort to Tiz the Law in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont.
Green Light Go made just two sophomore starts, both at Gulfstream Park, finishing third in the Grade 3 Swale and second in the Roar. He was transferred to Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer for the first four starts of his current campaign, posting an optional-claiming win in April traveling 1 1/16-miles at Oaklawn Park. The colt made his most recent effort in the care of trainer Mike Doyle when sixth in the six-furlong Grade 3 Vigil on August 1 at Woodbine.
Green Light Go has posted five consecutive bullet breezes at Belmont in preparation for the Fall Highweight, including a three-furlong blowout in 36 flat Wednesday morning over the dirt training track. Green Light Go, who adds blinkers, will carry 129 pounds when exiting post 2 under Dylan Davis.
Rounding out the field are Smooth B [post 3, Manny Franco, 126 pounds], Hopeful Treasure [post 4, Mychel Sanchez, 128 pounds], Wendell Fong [post 5, Trevor McCarthy, 129 pounds], Rough Entry [post 7, Luis Saez, 128 pounds], and War Tocsin [post 8, Dexter Haddock, 127 pounds].
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
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