09/14/2006 11:00PM

Certifiably Crazy seeks 3rd in row


ELMONT, N.Y. - For the last few years, it seems like the triumvirate of , Dave, and Golden Commander have taken turns winning the series of New York-bred turf stakes run on this circuit. After victories in the last two statebred turf stakes, it doesn't seem that Certifiably Crazy wants to surrender his turn.

Certifiably Crazy will go for his third straight restricted stakes victory when he heads a field of eight entered in Sunday's $100,000 Ashley T. Cole Handicap, a race he won emphatically last year. The Cole, run at 1 1/8 miles over the inner turf course, shares billing on Belmont Park's 10-race card with the $100,000 Schenectady Handicap for statebred fillies and mares run at six furlongs on dirt.

Considered a need-the-lead type in the past, Certifiably Crazy displayed a new dimension winning last month's West Point Handicap from off the pace. In that race, Retribution ran off to an eight-length lead after running four furlongs in 46 seconds. Retribution and Incredible Speed look like they could outfoot Certifiably Crazy in the Cole.

"The way it set up in the race helped us," said Richard Schosberg, the trainer of Certifiably Crazy. "That horse cleared by so much that it didn't really affect him. It didn't seem to make any difference to him or the jockey. He showed a lot of maturity in the race and the jock made excellent decisions all along the way."

Cornelio Velasquez rides Certifiably Crazy, who will break from post 3 under high weight of 121 pounds.

The inner turf figures to be soft on Sunday, but Certifiably Crazy won last year's Cole by 4 1/4 lengths over good ground.

"It might affect others more than him," Schosberg said.

Dave won the Kingston in May and finished second to Certifiably Crazy in the West Point. Though he had a wide trip in that race, Dave was always in striking distance of the winner and couldn't get by.

Golden Commander, who won the 2005 Kingston and the 2004 West Point, got squeezed at the start of the West Point and had traffic trouble around the turn and in the stretch, and was beaten only 2 1/4 lengths.

Foreverness and Pa Pa Da finished one-two in the Grade 3 Ft. Marcy at Aqueduct and always figure in the mix in these spots. Each is only 1 for 9 in the last two years, however.