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Compliance Officer Continues Roll in Ashley Cole

Compliance Officer showed his affinity for a route of ground Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park, winning the $100,000 Ashley T. Cole to pick up his second consecutive stakes victory.

Unhurried as longshot Writingonthewall led through an opening quarter-mile in 25.55 and a half in 49.12, Compliance Officer advanced on the far turn and came four wide into the stretch before drawing clear to win by 3 ½ lengths.

The winner's final time for 1 1/8 miles over turf rated "good" was 1:51.50. Sent off the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight New York-breds, he returned $5.80.

"We weren't sure whether he would get the 1 1/8 miles, so the plan was to draft in behind the other horses through the first part," said winning jockey Alex Solis. "When we got to the quarter-pole, I asked him for run, and he responded very nicely. He's a fun horse to ride. He's improving every race, and now we know he can get the distance."

Bruce Brown, who trains the son of Officer for La Marca Stable, was equally impressed with the 5-year-old gelding's first foray beyond 1 1/16 miles.

"This was the best he's ever relaxed and the best he's ever finished," said Brown. "He just seems like he's getting better and better. It seems like this was kind of what he wanted to do all along. This was pretty impressive today. A horse like this, who had the numbers and had the back class, sometimes you just figure little things out. This is kind of an out-of-the-ordinary thing, but this is what keeps us all doing it."

Compliance Officer has now won four straight since being claimed by Brown 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, then took Saratoga Race Course's 1 1/16-mile West Point for the first stakes victory of his career. Brown said he planned to point Compliance Officer for the $125,000, 1 1/16-mile Mohawk on New York Showcase Day, October 22.

Pocket Cowboys was second and Minnie Punt - making his first start in more than a year - made a run from the back of the pack to get third. Writingonthewall, Midnight Billy, Uncle T Seven, Straight Story and Make Note completed the order of finish. Gimme Credit, Theresmyeverything, Most Happy Fella and Socialsaul were scratched.


 

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