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Surging Durante Faces New Challenge in Fall Highweight

Durante has been assigned 134 pounds for the Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct.

Durante is scheduled to carry 134 pounds in the Fall Highweight Handicap

Durante is scheduled to carry 134 pounds in the Fall Highweight Handicap

Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

After winning the Bold Ruler Stakes (G3) Oct. 27 at Aqueduct—his first stakes start since early April 2022—Durante will face a high barrier when he returns to that surface in the $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (G3) Nov. 24.

Campaigned by JKX Racing and his trainer David Jacobson, Durante opened a four-length lead in the stretch of the Bold Ruler before cruising home 2 3/4 lengths in front in that six-furlong test where he was sent off as the 6-5 favorite. That victory in the Belmont at the Big A meet gave the 4-year-old Distorted Humor gelding his fifth win from his past six starts.

The Fall Highweight also is contested at six furlongs but Durante is scheduled to pick up 13 pounds from the Bold Ruler, going from 121 in that race to 134 Friday in the lone stakes on Aqueduct's "Black Friday" card. Scheduled as Race 3, the Fall Highweight has drawn six entries.

  • The 134-pound assignment for Durante is four more pounds than any other rival. Stakes winner Rotknee, two-time winner Cowan, and stakes winner Sir Alfred James all have been assigned 130 pounds.
  • The most recent highweight to post a victory in the Fall Highweight is Silvino Ramirez's Share the Ride, sent off as co-highweight (133 pounds) in 2020 and posting a three-quarter-length victory as the 8-5 favorite.

Entries: Fall Highweight H. (G3)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Friday, November 24, 2023, Race 3

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 1:18 PM (local)
11Bold Journey (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz128William I. Mott7/2
22Rotknee (NY)Dylan Davis130Michael J. Maker2/1
33Cowan (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose Antonio Gomez130Raymond E. Ginter, Jr.15/1
44Durante (KY)Manuel Franco134David Jacobson9/5
55Win for Gold (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKendrick Carmouche124Michelle Giangiulio4/1
66Sir Alfred James (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTrevor McCarthy130Raymond E. Ginter, Jr.10/1