11/24/2011 4:02PM

Aqueduct: Sunrise Smarty leads all the way in Fall Highweight Handicap

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Sunrise Smarty leads all the way in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Sunrise Smarty set a torrid early pace and then held off the late run of Nathan’s H Q to win Thursday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct.

Sunrise Smarty was ridden to victory by Ramon Dominguez, who celebrated his 35th birthday Thursday by winning five races on the card.

The Fall Highweight was marred by the fatal breakdown of General Maximus, the 2-1 favorite who suffered a condylar and sesamoid fracture to his left foreleg and had to be euthanized on the track. Earlier on the card, B Z Warrior had to be put down after he suffered a fractured sesamoid pulling up after the seventh race. A third horse, B G Suavecito, was vanned off following the first and was reported to be lame, but not with life-threatening injuries.

Originally carded with a 10-horse field, the Fall Highweight only went with five as Calibrachoa and Caixa Eletronica were scratched to run in Saturday’s Cigar Mile, while Driven by Success, Parent’s Honor, and Frazil also scratched.

Left with the inside post, Dominguez opted to use Sunrise Smarty’s speed, only to find himself prompted by Escrow Kid and General Maximus, forcing him to run an opening quarter in 21.51 seconds. Sunrise Smarty ran a half-mile in 44.31, and though he was clear at the eighth pole, Dominguez thought he might get caught.

“I said this is just going to be too fast,” Dominguez said. “Amazingly, once he was able to open up a length or two on the field and I took a light hold, he seemed like he regrouped and came back and settled down. I knew we were going fast enough, where I thought it was going to cost him. At the eighth pole, it looked like they were going to run by him and he kept on fighting.”

Sunrise Smarty, a 4-year-old son of Smarty Jones owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, covered the six furlongs in 1:09.97 over a drying-out track labeled good. He returned $6.90 as the second choice.

◗ Earlier on the card, Marion Ravenwood ($4) went gate to wire under Dominguez to win the $60,000 Capades Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Withgreatpleasure. It was 6 3/4 lengths back to Puzzling in third.

The Capades, scheduled for 1 1/16-miles on the turf, was run at a mile on the main track. Marion Ravenwood, a daughter of A.P. Indy owned by My Meadowview Farm, covered the distance in 1:37.51. Marion Ravenwood was entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Gazelle Stakes, but will not run back in that spot.

◗ Former rider Andrew Lakeman, paralyzed in a spill at Belmont in 2007, won his first race as an owner/trainer when Thisskysabeauty took Thursday’s nightcap, a $25,000 claiming race.

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