11/10/2013 5:38PM

Aqueduct: Kharafa rebounds to win Three Coins Up Stakes

Chelsea Durand
Kharafa, with Javier Castellano aboard, wins the Three Coins Up Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Sunday.

Reaffirming his affinity for the Aqueduct turf course, Kharafa ($17.20) rebounded from a next-to-last-place finish in the Mohawk Stakes to prevail over pacesetter Plainview and the favored Lubash in Sunday’s $100,000 Three Coins Up overnight stakes.

Kharafa, the eighth winner of the weekend for white-hot jockey Javier Castellano, raced in striking range for six furlongs as Plainview bounded along on the lead through honest fractions.

Kharafa rallied wide into the stretch, struck the front with a sixteenth of a mile remaining, and edged clear to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Kharafa ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.96 on firm turf and posted his third win of the year for trainer Tim Hills, including a score in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes in September.

“I rode him with a lot of confidence because I knew Mr. Hills had him just right for this race,” Castellano said. “It unfolded the way we expected. The speed came back to us, and he gave me a good run in the stretch. It worked out perfectly.”

“After his last race, we had him scoped, and it turned out he had flipped his soft palate,” Hills said. “It was a no-brainer; we had it fixed, and he came back and trained very well. I felt badly because the Mohawk was the first start for his new owners [Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch], and they were all there to watch. Today, they were watching from Florida. This will be his last start of the year. We’ll bring him to Florida and start early next year.”

Plainview saved the place by a nose over Lubash. Abilio was another three-quarters of a length behind in fourth, followed by Speaking of Which, Bombaguia, Hakama, Compliance Officer, Clear Attempt, and Saint Pierre.