09/12/2011 2:00PM

Belmont Park: Compliance Officer eyes Mohawk, Claiming Crown

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Compliance Officer scores a 3 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Ashley T. Cole Handicap at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – If Bruce Brown’s schedule holds, Compliance Officer will go from claimer to stakes winner back to claimer. Sort of.

Compliance Officer made it 4 for 4 off the claim for Brown and owner Thomas LaMarca on Sunday when he rolled to a 3 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Ashley T. Cole Handicap. Claimed for $25,000 in May, Compliance Officer won two allowance races and the West Point at Saratoga prior to Sunday’s Cole victory.

Naturally, Compliance Officer will be pointed to the $125,000 Mohawk Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 22. A victory there would virtually sew up a New York-bred turf championship. Following that, however, Brown is looking at running Compliance Officer in the $100,000 Claiming Crown Emerald at Fair Grounds on Dec. 3. The Emerald is open to horses that started for a tag of $25,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2010.

“You would think he’d fit pretty well in there,’’ Brown said.

At this point, Compliance Officer would fit well almost anywhere. Since the claim, he’s won at distances from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. He has learned to relax and finish with a flourish. On Sunday, after rating in fifth position and losing a spot on the far turn, he was swung four wide into the stretch by Alex Solis and took control in upper stretch. He ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.50 over a good inner turf and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

“You look at his races and how the distance has increased each time, and he’s run pretty much the same way each time,” Brown said Monday morning. “You don’t see a lot of turf races where the race is over at the three-sixteenths pole, but he was really on his game.”