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Can Pocket Cowboys turn the tables on Compliance Officer?

10 October 23: Pocket Cowboys (no. 4), ridden by Edgar Prado and trained by Scott Schwartz, wins the 32nd running of the Mohawk Stakes for New York bred three year olds and upward at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Compliance Officer will attempt to win his first race going 1 1/8 miles and remain unbeaten since being claimed by trainer Bruce Brown when he competes at Belmont Park in Sunday’s $100,000 Ashley T. Cole for New York-breds on the turf.


A 5-year-old son of Officer, Compliance Officer was claimed for $25,000 in his 2011 debut, a state-bred, 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Belmont in May. Following the claim, the gelding won a pair of Belmont turf sprint optional claimers at six and seven furlongs.


“When Mr. [Thomas] La Marca and I claimed him, we kind of thought he’d be a good Belmont horse as far as being able to run him six or seven [furlongs],” said Brown. “When we did that, he started to relax.”


In his most recent race, Compliance Officer successfully stretched out when facing New York-breds in the 1 1/16-mile West Point around two turns at Saratoga Race Course on August 18.


“Going two turns at Saratoga, he really relaxed,” said Brown. “He had always run long, and he’d end up in front on his own. When he ran short, he was almost forced to run behind horses.”


Compliance Officer, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, will leave from post position 4 with Alex Solis aboard.


Brown will also send out N R B Stable’s Gimme Credit, sixth in the West Point, in Sunday’s race. Javier Castellano has the assignment aboard the 12-1 outsider from post 2.


Pocket Cowboys, third in the West Point, will have a rematch with Compliance Officer in the Ashley T. Cole. He has three wins from nine starts on the turf at Belmont, including triumphs in last year’s Mohawk on New York Showcase Day in October and in this year’s Kingston in May.


“Belmont is his best course,” said Scott Schwartz, the owner, trainer, and breeder of Pocket Cowboys. “He appreciates the big, sweeping turns. He’s a big horse. He’s 17 hands with a long stride and is definitely built for Belmont. He never did care for Saratoga.”


Schwartz hopes a cleaner trip will help Pocket Cowboys emerge victorious.


“Last time, he lost all chance when he broke slowly and got all hung up on the outside,” said Schwartz. “He somehow got up for third, passing most of the field in the last 30 yards. [1 1/8 miles] is his best distance, and he’ll be a tough candidate. He can handle any type of course, whether it’s firm or soft.”


John Velazquez, winner of the 2011 Angel Cordero, Jr. riding title at Saratoga Race Course, will ride Pocket Cowboys, the 4-1 third choice on the morning line, from post 7.


Straight Story picked up the biggest victory of his career when he won the Grade 3 Fort Marcy at Belmont in May and will attempt to recapture that form when he competes in Sunday’s race. Following the Fort Marcy, the Richard Santulli color-bearer was sixth over yielding turf in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day in June and seventh in the Grade 3 Oceanport on July 31 at Monmouth Park.


“He hasn’t run that great recently, but he should run better,” said trainer Alan Goldberg. “He’s had a few nagging things, but he’s over them now. He probably wants it firmer, so hopefully it will dry out.”


Straight Story, installed as the 3-1 morning-line second choice, will leave from post 6 with Ramon Dominguez in the irons.


From the rail out, the field also includes Make Note, Theresmyeverything, last year’s Ashley T. Cole winner Uncle T Seven, Minnie Punt, Midnight Billy, and Writingonthewall. Socialsaul and Most Happy Fella were entered for the main track only.


The field for the $100,000 Ashley T. Cole:








Make Note (NY)

A Garcia


P J Quick



Gimme Credit (NY)

J Castellano


B R Brown



Theresmyeverything (NY)

G K Gomez


E G Harty



Compliance Officer (NY)

A O Solis


B R Brown



Uncle T Seven (NY)

D Cohen


J C Kimmel



Straight Story (NY)

R A Dominguez


A E Goldberg



Pocket Cowboys (NY)

J R Velazquez


S M Schwartz



Minnie Punt (NY)

J Bravo


M Miceli



Midnight Billy (NY)

I Ortiz, Jr.


J Ortiz



Writingonthewall (NY)

E S Prado


R L Stoklosa



Socialsaul (NY) (MTO)

J Castellano


G C Contessa



Most Happy Fella (NY) (MTO)

J Sanchez


W Badgett, Jr.




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Go Get Em Cowboy!!!!!!

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