11/26/2013 12:07PM

Aqueduct: Caixa Eletronica seeks rare double in Fall Highweight

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Barbara D. Livingston
Caixa Eletronica will try to become the fourth horse, and first male, to win consecutive Fall Highweight Handicaps.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – For all of the high-powered, strong-pedigreed horses trainer Todd Pletcher has obtained through the auction ring, a small minority have won as many races or earned as much money as Caixa Eletronica, a horse he acquired via the claim box.

Since owner Mike Repole and Pletcher claimed Caixa Eletronica for $62,500 at Gulfstream Park on March 9, 2011, Caixa Eletronica has won 11 races from 28 starts and earned nearly $1.6 million. Thursday, Caixa Eletronica, who overall has 23 wins from 68 starts, seeks to add to those totals while aiming for a bit of history when he runs in the Grade 3, $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Fall Highweight, being run for the 100th time, highlights a nine-race Thanksgiving Day card with a first post of 11:25 a.m. and a last post of 3:10 p.m.

Caixa Eletronica will seek to join an elite list of repeat winners in the Fall Highweight that includes only the mares Ta Wee (1969-70), Honorable Miss (1975-76), and What a Summer (1977-1978). Back then, the race was run at Belmont Park in August.

Also, Caixa Eletronica attempts to join Punch Line (1998) as the only 8-year-olds to win this six-furlong race.

“It’s been a remarkable claim for us,” Pletcher said. “Mike Repole and I talk about it all the time; it’s cool to have a horse like him who runs in big races and there’s absolutely no pressure. Everything that he does is a bonus.

“We’re not managing a stud career, there’s no huge swings in his value if he wins or loses, it’s just all fun,” Pletcher added. “To have a horse like him that came from modest background that we were able to claim and win some big races with him it’s been a lot of fun.”

Last year, Caixa Eletronica, under 133 pounds, ran six furlongs in 1:08.69. Only three horses have been confirmed to have run faster in the Fall Highweight. Thursday, Caixa Eletronica will carry 132 pounds under Javier Castellano.

“He’s all racehorse and he loves the game and he’s had success carrying weight in the past, so I think the Fall Highweight fits him well,” Pletcher said.

Strapping Groom, winner of the Grade 1 Forego in the slop at Saratoga, is the starting highweight at 135 pounds. Trainer David Jacobson said Strapping Groom has been battling a bruised foot, but said Tuesday “if the race was today he’d be a go.”

Heavy rain was forecast Tuesday into Wednesday and depending how much fell – and if Wednesday’s card was run – could determine how wet the track might be Thursday.

Strapping Groom won the Forego in the slop. Caixa Eletronica is a two-time winner over wet surfaces.

Strapping Groom is one of two confirmed speed horses in the field. B Shanny is the other. B Shanny is coupled with The Lumber Guy, who has yet to win since taking the Grade 1 Vosburgh over a good Belmont track in October 2012. Mike Hushion trains both for Barry Schwartz.

Palace, claimed for $20,000, is in the best form of his career, but takes on graded company for the first time. Sage Valley has won a pair of Grade 3 sprints this year. Saturday’s Charm, third in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, has a win and a second over Aqueduct’s main track.