Kharafa Third Time Victor of Ashley T. Cole
September 24, 2016 11:46am
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Photo: NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch's Kharafa rallied to take the lead entering the stretch and held off Offering Plan by three-quarters of a length to repeat in Saturday's $125,000 Ashley T. Cole for New York-breds at Belmont Park.

Trained by Timothy Hills, Kharafa left from post 4 and stayed in fourth off Latigo Trail's fractions of 24.95 and 50.98 seconds. Jockey Antonio Gallardo moved Kharafa off the rail and made a late push to overtake the pacesetter, Harbor King and King Kreesa in midstretch.

Kharafa, who finished second in his last two races (defeated by a nose and a neck), completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.61 on the inner turf to register his first victory in eight starts and first since the 2015 Ashley T. Cole. He also won the race's 2013 edition, making him the first three-time winner and first repeat winner since Banrock from 2008-09.

"I had a really good trip," Gallardo said. "I knew my horse, I rode him at Monmouth and I feel really comfortable with him. Watching his race at Saratoga [second-place finish in West Point] he tried all the time. He had good patience inside and a really good trip. In the clear he was full of run. He felt really good. You could see it in the form and with a little give in the ground the conditions were perfect for him today."

Kharafa improved to 12-11-5 in 38 career starts and cracked $1 million in earnings with $1,026,997.

"I wish all horses could be as consistent as he is. He gets good this time of the year; it's like clockwork," Hills said. "He has two breezes before each race and he shows up ready to run. [He's] ultra-consistent."

Kharafa, who paid $7.50 on a $2 win wager, likely will make his next start in the $200,000 Mohawk on October 22.

Offering Plan, the 2-1 favorite trained by Chad Brown, finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Tapitation for second.

King Kreesa, Latigo Trail and Harbor King completed the order of finish.

Source: NYRA Communications


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