09/09/2012 6:14PM

Belmont Park: Lubash outsprints Compliance Officer in Ashley T. Cole Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Lubash (right) holds off Compliance Officer to win the $150,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Lubash vaulted to the head of the class in the New York-bred turf male division with a head victory over defending statebred turf champion Compliance Officer in Sunday’s $150,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes at Belmont Park.

The win came 24 days after Lubash won the West Point Stakes at Saratoga, also defeating Compliance Officer, who has now lost three consecutive races after winning the Kingston Stakes in May.

Lubash’s versatility has been key to his success this year. In the West Point, he rallied from last. Sunday, he was sitting second, albeit six lengths off the pacesetting Abilio, through pedestrian fractions of 26.52 seconds for the quarter, 51.57 for the half, and 1:16.50 for six furlongs over a yielding inner turf.

Lubash, under Jose Lezcano, poked his head in front at the quarter pole and outsprinted Compliance Officer to the wire. Street Game, who was kept off the pace by Ramon Dominguez, rallied to get third.

“Today, it was a different kind of race,” said Lezcano, who won three of the final four races on Sunday’s card. “I wanted to be sitting second, because I knew there wasn’t too much speed in the race. I kept waiting, and when I asked him, he gave me a good kick. Easy job when you have a good horse.”

Lubash, a son of Freud owned by Leonard Pivnick and trained by Christophe Clement, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:53.27 – 1.15 seconds slower than Hessonite covered the same distance in the Hettinger two races earlier – and returned $6.60 as the second choice.