10/17/2012 4:17PM

Belmont: Lubash can clinch New York-bred turf title in Mohawk

Barbara D. Livingston
Lubash (right) holds off Compliance Officer to win the $150,000 Ashley T. Cole. The two will tangle again in Saturday's Mohawk.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Lubash will seek his third consecutive victory and with it possibly the title as champion New York-bred male turf horse when he heads an oversubscribed field for Saturday’s $175,000 Mohawk Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Mohawk, carded at 1 1/16 miles over the Widener turf, will go as the last of 10 races on Saturday’s New York Showcase Day program, which has all races restricted to statebreds.

Lubash, who finished second in this race last year, broke a lengthy losing streak when he won the West Point at Saratoga on Aug. 16. He then came back with a head victory in the Ashley T. Cole. He defeated defending New York-bred turf champion Compliance Officer in both those races.

Compliance Officer is entered back in this spot and will have some pace help in Strong Impact. The two will run as a coupled entry since both are owned by Thomas La Marca and trained by Bruce Brown.

Since Lubash is versatile enough to win from close range or from off the pace, trainer Christophe Clement said he is not concerned with the presence of a rabbit. Jose Lezcano will ride Lubash from post 4.

“Lezcano will have to worry about the style of the race,” Clement said. “For sure, he’s a versatile horse.”

Compliance Officer, who defeated Lubash in the Kingston to begin his 2012 campaign, will break from post 8 and be reunited with Alex Solis, who was aboard for five of the gelding’s six wins last year.

Unbridled Command, who won the Grade 3 Saranac last out, could put his name in contention for champion turf male with a victory against Lubash and Compliance Officer in this spot.

Rivalry concludes in Ticonderoga

Longtime rivals Hessonite and Gitchee Goomie tee it up one last time when the two headline the field for the $175,000 Ticonderoga Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

This will be the sixth time this year and seventh overall that Hessonite and Gitchee Goomie have met. Hessonite beat Gitchee Goomie by 1 1/4 lengths when the two were first and second in this race last year.

Gitchee Goomie, who will be retired after this race, defeated Hessonite the first three times they met this year, but Hessonite has soundly defeated Gitchee Goomie in the Yaddo and John Hettinger.

Hessonite, who finished a troubled fifth in the Flower Bowl last out, will break from the rail under Ramon Dominguez while Gitchee Goomie will break from post 6 under Alan Garcia.

Shakeira, who has won three of five starts since being claimed by Chad Brown, is in with an upset chance.

Go Unbridled was entered as a main track-only starter by trainer Allen Jerkens, who was considering a start against the boys in the $250,000 Empire Classic,

Saginaw shortens up for Hudson

Saginaw has won 8 of 10 starts this year, but none has come at the six-furlong distance. But his trainer, David Jacobson, opted to run him in the $150,000 Hudson at six furlongs as opposed to the 1 1/8-mile Empire Classic.

Saginaw this year has won at distances from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. In his last start, the Promenade All Stakes, Saginaw defeated Lunar Victory by a diminishing half-length. That race was at one mile.

Saginaw, who breaks from post 2, will have to carry high weight of 124 pounds. He will face seven rivals – Shrewd One, Ground Force, Neatie the Cat, Dr Disco, Mine Over Matter, Sportswriter, and Smokin Hero.

Agave Kiss back with N.Y.-breds

Agave Kiss who won a maiden race by 6 1/4 lengths on New York Showcase Day last year, headlines a nine-horse field entered in Saturday’ $150,000 Iroquois Stakes at seven furlongs.

Agave Kiss won the first six starts of her career, including four open stakes before finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Victory Ride and third in the Grade 1 Prioress. Most recently, she was beaten a neck by Belle of the Hall in an overnight stakes here on in Oct. 3.

Risky Rachel, who won this race last year, is the top threat to Agave Kiss. Beautiful But Blue and Lady On the Run are the other top contenders in the race.

Weekend Hideaway tops Bongard

After running third in the Grade 2 Futurity, Weekend Hideaway returns to New York-bred competition when he heads a field of 14 entered in the $125,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs.

Weekend Hideaway, a son of Speightstown, went 3 for 3 against New York-breds at Saratoga, including a 6 1/4-length victory in the David Stakes at six furlongs.

Laila’s Jazz, who is 2 for 2, is the only other multiple winner in the field.

Laila’s Jazz is one of two horses entered by trainer Gary Contessa. The other is Goodtolook, who wheels back 13 days after winning an off-the-turf maiden race by 11 1/2 lengths.

Kelli Got Frosty tops Gimma

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who won three races here on Wednesday, will send out Kelli Got Frosty in the $125,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.

Kelli Got Frosty debuted Sept. 3 in the Lady Finger Stakes at Finger Lakes, where she finished fourth behind Matchmadeinheaven, who is also in this field.

Kelli Got Frosty came back on Oct. 3 to win an off-the-turf maiden race by 14 lengths at Belmont Park. Matchmadeinheaven went 2 for 2 in stakes races at Finger Lakes for trainer Chris Englehart.