years ago, Compliance Officer earned his second stakes victory when he
won the Ashley T. Cole at Belmont Park. The 2011 Ashley T. Cole was
part of a run for Compliance Officer in which he won seven of eight
starts, five in stakes.
Saturday, Compliance Officer will attempt to regain some of that magic
when he competes in the 2013 edition of the Ashley T. Cole, a $150,000, 1
1/8-mile race on the inner turf course for New York-breds 3-years-old
Officer opened his 2012 campaign with a three-quarter length victory in
the Kingston in the spring at Belmont, but is winless in four
subsequent starts. He was second in the Grade 3 Poker and third and
second, respectively, in his title defense attempts in the West Point
presented by Trusctco Bank at Saratoga and the Ashley T. Cole, his final
two starts of the year.
the end of last year, he had an ankle injury," said trainer Bruce
Brown, who claimed Compliance Officer for $25,000 on behalf of La Marca
Stable in 2011. "No surgery or anything. We gave him the winter off. And
then this spring he was coming back great and we were lining him up for
the early New York-bred races, and he popped a splint on his one leg.
That's what took us time. By the time we got him to the races in
Saratoga, it had been almost a year between races."
his comeback on August 26, Compliance Officer couldn't match strides
with Plainview and Twigazuri Strait and finished third, beaten 5 ¾
lengths, in a starter allowance/optional claimer at Saratoga.
really needed that race; it was a good tightener," said Brown. "He
should be ready to go. Nobody really went with [Plainview], and that
horse is in really good form right now. It was a good race."
Alex Solis will ride Compliance Officer, 6-1 on the morning line, from post position 3.
entered in the Ashley T. Cole is Aliyu Ben J Stables homebred Lubash,
who defeated Compliance Officer by a head in last year's renewal. Since
then, he has added a victory in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy in May at
Belmont. Following the Fort Marcy, he was third in the Kingston and
fifth in the Grade 3 Poker in July at Belmont, and fourth in the West
Point on August 15 at Saratoga.
"He's trained well [since the West Point] and had a decent work, so as of now he's a 'go,'" said trainer Christophe Clement.
Lubash, the 7-2 third choice on the morning line, drew post 8 and will be ridden by Junior Alvarado.
winner of the West Point, Hangover Kid, was entered in the Ashley T.
Cole but is unlikely to run, according to his trainer, Jason Servis.
Joe Bravo was named to ride Hangover Kid, who drew post 7 and was tabbed at 3-1 on the morning line.
5-2 morning-line favorite is Kharafa, third by one length in the West
Point after setting the pace. Previously, he was second to King Kreesa
in the Kingston in June and won an open entry-level allowance in July at
Vision, a two-time stakes winner, is set to try grass for the first
time in the Ashley T. Cole. He enters Sunday's race off a pair of sharp
efforts at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Saratoga, having finished second
by a head in the Evan Shipman on July 22 and recorded a one-length
victory in the Saratoga Sunrise on August 16.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Awesome Vision, 10-1, from post 6.
field also includes West Point runner-up Hear the Footsteps, Majestic
Raffy, Ampersand, and Idle American. Most Happy Fella was entered for
the main track only.