News and STORIES
Happy Farm Wins Fall Highweight
Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Monday December 09, 2019
M and A Racing's Happy Farm gave trainer Jason Servis his second graded win at Aqueduct when he took the $206,100 Fall Highweight Handicap (G3) on Sunday. He took the lead in the turn for home and was able to hold off the challengers.
The race was a six-furlong handicap for 3-year-olds and up, and it featured the favored Recruiting Ready, carrying 132 pounds. Originally set to run Thanksgiving Day, the Fall Highweight was rescheduled twice due to bad weather.
Servis won the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at the same track with Maximum Security on the previous day. In a March 3 race, he claimed Happy Farm for his new owners. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper gelding has gone through five owners, and most of his races were at the claiming level.
Happy Farm finished fourth out of a field of five in the March 3 event. He was also runner-up in an April 17 claiming race at Aqueduct for his new owners and moved up. He won his last three races at Belmont Park and made it to the graded level.
In the Fall Highweight on Sunday, Strike Power moved ahead to the lead and finished the first quarter-mile in :22.55. He was carrying 128 pounds, the second-highest weight. Jorge Vargas Jr. was aboard Happy Farm while Recruiting Ready was in second, followed by Seethisquick and Wonderful Light.
As the field moved into the top of the turn, Vargad and Happy Farm took a slight lead and posted a half-mile in :45.96 as Strike Power tried to keep pace. As they straightened into the stretch, Strike Power began to tire. Wonderful Light and Recruiting Ready, who spotted 10 pounds to his rivals, challenged from behind.
Wonderful Light was able to get within three-quarters of a length to the winner to finish second, and Recruiting Ready finished another half-length back in third.
Happy Farm, carrying 125 pounds, finished the distance in 1:11.91 on a fast track. He returned $16.40, $6, and $3.30.
"My horse broke quick, and (Servis assistant Henry Argueta) told me he was going to be sharp," Vargas said. "I just tried to relax him. By the turn, he was going quick, but he was relaxed. I smooched at him a little bit, and he jumped on it right away. When they came to me, I had something to fight back with."
Strike Power previously took the Grade 3 Swale last year at Gulfstream Park, while Recruiting Ready won the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint back in March.
Happy Farm's Career
Happy Farm was bred in Florida by Rustlewood Farm, and he is the first foal out of the Holly Bull mare Gospel Girl. Also produced by Gospel Girl was Take Charge Dude, who finished third in the Dec. 7 Claiming Crown Express Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Happy Farm now has a record of 8-4-2 in 19 starts, and his earnings are at $398,888 after his graded stakes debut.
Back in August 2015, Happy Farm went for $45,000. The consignor was Summerfield, agent, and he was purchased by Stanley M. Hough, agent.
The 59-day Aqueduct meet offers 45 stakes races. They begin on Thursday with an eight-race card, and the first post is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.