10/24/2011 2:43PM

Belmont Park: Compliance Officer takes a shot at Breeders' Cup Mile

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Compliance Officer, who won his fifth consecutive race in Saturday’s $125,000 Mohawk at Belmont Park, has been pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Claiming Crown or Breeders’ Cup?

It’s not a question connections often have to wrestle with, but owner Thomas La Marca and trainer Bruce Brown spent the better part of Sunday and Monday debating the subject as it pertains to their 5-year-old New York-bred Compliance Officer, who won his fifth consecutive race in Saturday’s $125,000 Mohawk at Belmont Park.

In the end, La Marca made the decision Monday to pre-enter Compliance Officer in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. If he gets into the race, Compliance Officer would face three-time BC Mile winner Goldikova as well as the multiple Eclipse champion Gio Ponti.

The initial plan for Compliance Officer was to run in the $100,000 Claiming Crown Emerald on Dec. 3 at Fair Grounds.

“I was definitely leaning the other way,” Brown said, meaning he was planning for the Claiming Crown. “But the way Mr. La Marca put it, it’s our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, why not see what happens and at least think about it.

“We’re close to giving him the winter off, maybe go out with a bang,” Brown added. “If the horse weren’t to run well for some reason, he’s going to get the winter off anyway. There’s still time left, we’ll take everything into consideration. You’d hate to get to the end of the week and he’s ripping the barn down and you’re saying ‘Why didn’t we do it?’ We’ll see how this really plays out.”

La Marca and Brown claimed Compliance Officer for $25,000 in May. Since then, the son of Officer has reeled off five straight victories, capped by a strong five-length victory in the Mohawk in which he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

Brown said that so far Compliance Officer has come out of the race in good order, but the horse wasn’t scheduled to go back to the track until Wednesday or Thursday.

Brown said one of the factors that played into the decision to pre-enter in the Mile is how well Compliance Officer has run over less-than-firm turf. Four of his five victories during his streak have come over good or yielding turf.

“At Churchill, you could get a boggy kind of turf or softer turf and that doesn’t hurt him,” Brown said.

Initially, Brown thought he might be headed to this year’s Breeders’ Cup with Spring to the Sky, a 9 3/4-length debut winner at Belmont on Sept. 24. But Brown was not thrilled with how the colt worked last Saturday and opted not to pre-enter in the Juvenile Sprint.

General Maximus, Dr Disco to rematch

If you liked the show General Maximus and Dr Disco put on in the Hudson Stakes, you may get to see it again in the Grade 3, $100,000 Fall Highweight on Thanksgiving Day. The connections of both horses on Monday mentioned the six-furlong Fall Highweight as likely destinations for their charges.

Both horses also have the option of running in the $75,000 Thunder Rumble, a seven-furlong division of the New York Stallion Series on Nov. 13.

General Maximus chased Dr Disco for a good portion the Hudson before edging by him in deep stretch. He ran six furlongs in 1:09.58 and earned a 93 Beyer. It was the second straight year he won the Hudson.

“He looks great, he’s in the [feed] tub, he’s got great energy,” Terranova said.

Hessonite, who won the Ticonderoga for fillies on the turf by 1 1/4 lengths on Saturday, will get a freshening, trainer David Donk said, and be pointed to a 4-year-old campaign. Donk said Hessonite will winter on a farm in Delaware under the tutelage by Kevin Lamborn.