SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Ara Aprahamian’s Life in Shambles ran four-wide in the stretch and was able to get up just in time to win his first career graded event in Thursday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct.
Breaking from post 8 at 6-1 odds under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Life in Shambles sat just off of the initial pace while Always Sunshine and Heartwood dueled through opening fractions of :22.69 and :46.27. Swinging out four-wide at the top of the stretch, Life in Shambles was set down for the drive home and charged hard to collar the pacesetters. The Jason Servis trainee surged late and took over in the shadow of the wire to win by 3/4 of a length in a final time of 1:12.07 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “He broke good. He put me in a good position and he was right where I wanted when I asked him. Turning for home, he just ran really well.”
Caught late, Heartwood was able to edge Always Sunshine by a 1/2 length for second. The other three runners were never a factor and came across in order as Celtic Chaos, Runaway Lute, and Win With Pride. There were three scratches: Command Post, Lewisfield, and Mesotherm.
Life in Shambles’ victory was second straight following an allowance score at Belmont Park on September 29. The 7-year-old gelded son of Broken Vow now carries a record of 41-10-7-4 and earnings of $726,034.
“The trip was perfect,” said assistant trainer Henry Argueta. “Two horses went ahead, and he just sat off and then went ahead. He ran a really good race. The fractions were OK. I knew they’d come back. We expected him to run good, and he did. He’s a warrior. He’s been there before. I think his experience helped him a lot.”
Life in Shambles returned $14.60 to win, $6.50 to place, and $3.70 to show. Heartwood brought back $4.40 to place and $2.90 to show, while Always Sunshine paid $4.50 to show.