Patiently ridden by Julien
Leparoux, Uncle T Seven kicked clear in the stretch to win Sunday’s 35th
running of the $100,000 Ashley T. Cole for New York-breds at Belmont Park.
Settled in fifth behind pacesetter
Spa City Fever, who was closely tracked by Writingonthewall through early
fractions of 24.69 and 49.18, Uncle T Seven moved off the rail at the
three-sixteenths pole and charged up to take the lead. Edging clear in the
stretch, he crossed the wire 1 ½ lengths in front of Pocket Cowboys and favored
Uncle T Seven’s final time for the
1 1/8 miles over the firm turf was 1:49.88.
“[Trainer John Kimmel] told me to
make him relax through the first part, and he was pretty relaxed for me all the
way around,” said winning jockey Julien Leparoux. “He just traveled on the
bridle a little bit, but it was pretty good. At the quarter pole, I was very
confident. I knew he was going to give me a kick. It felt great. I knew he was
going to run his race and that he was going to run big in the stretch. I didn’t
know if anyone was going to be better than him or not, but I guess today,
The Ashley T. Cole was the Freud
colt’s first win in four starts this year. He entered the race off a
fourth-place effort in the Vic Ziegel Memorial, a seven-furlong overnight
stakes August 27 on the on the Saratoga main track, his first race since a
second-place finish in the Kingston Stakes at Belmont on May 30.
“He was off for awhile and he
really needed his last race,” said Kimmel, who trains the horse for Thomas
Mina, Suzann Bobley, MFRG Racing Stable and Dennis Brida. “It seemed to liven
him up and he really sprung forward off that race and looked like his old self
With a lifetime record of 5-3-5
from 18 starts, Uncle T Seven now has earned $386,157 with the winner’s share
of the Ashley T. Cole purse. Sent off as the 5-2 third choice in the field of
seven, he returned $7.10.
Longshot Piazza Di Spagna was
fourth and Spa City Fever, Writingonthewall and Solvent completed the order of
Looking ahead, Kimmel said he
would consider two races on New York Showcase Day, October 23, for Uncle T
Seven’s next start – either the $100,000 Mohawk at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, or
the $200,000 Empire Classic run at the same distance on the main track.
“We’d look at…the Empire Classic
if we thought the turf was going to come up soft, which he doesn’t like,” said
Kimmel. “He’s a nice, versatile horse.”