'Called' set to serve notice
A headstrong bully who seemed to have a grievance against the world, he refused to accept instructions or guidance, but instead attempted to impose his will on everybody he encountered, insisting on doing everything his way, in his own time and in his own special style, thank you very much. And if that seems only mildly alarming, add this little detail to the portrait: This recusant maverick, this loose cannon of an athlete, weighed nearly 1,200 pounds.
Called To Serve's connections are so confident in their horse's transformation, so faithful, that they've literally traveled from one extremity of the country to another just for an opportunity to showcase his talent against this elite company.
“"The sky's the limit for this horse," said Canani, who as a youngster worked for trainer Bobby Frankel and then for his father, Julio, who's also a trainer. And so Canani knows what's necessary for a horse to race at this elite level, and he knows what it takes to win the Big 'Cap. His father won it in 1989 with Martial Law. "Game On Dude is a great horse, and he's the speed of the speed," Canani said. "I have all the respect in the world for him. But I think he might be a little vulnerable running a mile and a quarter, and I think that's exactly what our horse wants to do." Since arriving at Santa Anita a few weeks ago, Called To Serve has had two workouts, both bullets and both with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens riding. A week ago, Called To Serve worked five furlongs in 59.20 and, Canani said, galloped out six furlongs in 1:10.60. "Gary [Stevens] could hardly get him pulled up," Canani said. "His workouts here have been superb He improves every day. It's scary to think how good he might be." More scary than a rhumba of rattlesnakes, more scary even than that bull who was always looking for a china shop.
Game On Dude is a great horse, and he's the speed of the speed. But I think he might be a little vulnerable running a mile and a quarter, and I think that's exactly what our horse wants to do.” -- Trainer Nick Canani
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