09/11/2011 5:09PM

Belmont: Compliance Officer takes fourth straight in Ashley Cole Handicap

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Compliance Officer, claimed for $25,000 in May, collects his second straight stakes victory in the Ashley Cole Handicap.

Compliance Officer continued his ascension through the New York-bred turf division with a decisive 3 1/2-length victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Ashley T. Cole Handicap at Belmont Park.

 The win was the fourth straight for Compliance Officer since being claimed by owner Thomas LaMarca and trainer Bruce Brown for $25,000 in May. His wins have come in allowance races at six furlongs and seven furlongs, the West Point Stakes at Saratoga at 1 1/16 miles , and the Cole at 1 1/8 miles.

Under Alex Solis, Compliance Officer settled into fourth position early while racing in the three path as Writingonthewall set fractions of 25.55 seconds for the quarter, 49.12 for four furlongs, and 1:13.81 for six furlongs.

 Compliance Officer got shuffled back to fifth when Uncle T Seven made a premature move along the rail entering the far turn. Solis guided Compliance Officer four-wide turning for home and with only mild encouragement Compliance Officer rocketed to the lead and drew off.

Pocket Cowboys, second in this race last year, finished second by five lengths over Minnie Punt. Writingonthewall, Midnight Billy, Uncle To Seven, Straight Story ,and Make Note completed the order of finish. Gimme Credit and Theresmyeverything were scratched.

 “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,’’ Solis said. “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.’’

 Prior to the West Point, Compliance Officer had only one win from six starts beyond one mile.

“This was the best he’s ever relaxed and the best he’s ever finished,’’ Brown said. “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.’’

Compliance Officer, a son of Officer, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.50 over an inner turf course labeled good. Compliance Officer will most likely make a bid to wrap up a New York-bred turf championship by running in the Mohawk Handicap here on Oct. 22.

  Thursby, a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, broke slowly and finished last in his debut going seven furlongs on turf.

 The race was won by Richmond County, a 23-1 shot who returned $48.40. Richmond County ran seven furlongs in 1:24.66, which was 1.36 seconds slower than the 2-year-old filly Somali Lemonade won a seven-furlong maiden race earlier on the card.

 Bold Warrior ($9.20) was elevated to first after being bumped by Buffum, the 1-4 favorite, who finished first in a second-level allowance race going one mile.