04/30/2011 6:21PM

Belmont: Caixa Eletronica goes from $62,500 claim to Westchester winner

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Caixa Eletronica (center, with blinkers), making his first start since he was claimed by Todd Pletcher on behalf of Repole Stable, scores in the Grade 3 Westchester.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Caixa Eletronica, claimed by Repole Stable and Todd Pletcher for $62,500 out of his last start at Gulfstream Park, earned back $60,000 in one fell swoop by winning Saturday’s Grade 3 Westchester Stakes by three lengths.

 Making the 41st start of his career, the 6-year-old Caixa Eletronica was maneuvered to the outside down the backstretch, while his uncoupled stablemate Christmas for Liam was hell-bent on getting the early lead from 4-5 favorite Haynesfield.

 Christmas for Liam, the 9-5 second choice while making his stakes debut, sizzled through enervating fractions of 22.34 and 44.72 seconds just outside Haynesfield, and still maintained a slim lead turning for home after six furlongs in 1:08.89.

Caixa Eletronica wrested the lead in upper stretch under Cornelio Velasquez, and drove clear to win the 83rd running of the mile race in 1:34.26 over a fast main track.

 “I had a good trip,” said Velasquez, who would have had a five-win day but for an earlier disqualification.”This horse has changed a lot; he’s a very nice horse.”

Caixa Eletronica is the second Repole-Pletcher claim to pay immediate dividends in a stakes race, joining Calibrachoa, who was claimed for $40,000 last fall and won three stakes at Aqueduct’s inner-track meet.

 “Regardless of the pace scenario, we felt if he just sat and made one run it was going to be conducive to his running style,” said assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas. “You would have to consider the Met Mile [May 30]. He’s a real generous horse and it seems like you can do whatever you need to do with him.”

 Convocation rallied wide from well off the raging battle up front, and was along to finish second for the second straight time in the Westchester. He was 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Schoolyard Dreams, who was third as the rank outsider at 35-1 in the field of five.

 Haynesfield, the New York-bred horse of the year in 2009-10 and the lone graded stakes winner left in the field after Soaring Empire was scratched due to a bruised left front foot, was a neck farther back in fourth under Ramon Dominguez in his first start of the year.

 “We just had an awful set-up,” said Dominguez. “My horse broke sharply, but the horse on the outside had more speed. I was doing everything under my full power when I realized I couldn’t match strides with the horse on the outside. I wasn’t able to get him back as he was too fresh.”

 Christmas for Liam completed the order of finish.