11/23/2012 5:20PM

Aqueduct: Canani has big plans for Called to Serve

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Following a troubled-trip second in the Temperence Hill Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 21, Called to Serve dominated the Discovery.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Nick Canani plans on calling New York his home this winter, but he has some big plans for Called to Serve that he hopes will take him on a few road trips.

After his breakthrough performance winning the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap by 4 3/4 lengths on Nov. 17 at Aqueduct, Called to Serve will be pointed to either the Grade 2, $200,000 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 2 or the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream on Feb. 9.

Called to Serve will likely prep for either one of those spots in the $100,000 Broad Brush Stakes at Laurel on Dec. 31, Canani said.

Ultimately, Canani hopes to get Called to Serve to the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2.
“I think the mile and a quarter will hit him right over the head,” said Canani, referring to the distance of the Santa Anita Handicap. “He grew up from a kid to a man in that last race.”

Following a troubled-trip second in the Temperence Hill Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 21, Called to Serve dominated the Discovery, earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure in the process.

“Physically and mentally he’s only improving – 3 turning 4, a big strong horse later-maturing, he’s only going to get better,” Canani said.

Called to Serve was one of about 10 horses sent to him by owner Marc Ferrell. Canani has 22 based at Belmont, but he figures to be involved in claiming a few more.

“Marc gave me a great opportunity to train his horses, I’m appreciative of that,” said Canani, who spent last winter at Gulfstream as a private trainer for Frank Calabrese. “I’m rebuilding. If you’re going to rebuild anywhere, it’s got to be here. This is going to be the mecca of racing.”