08/24/2013 12:31PM

Saratoga: Compliance Officer returns Monday

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Tom Keyser
Compliance Officer will make his first start in 11 months on Monday at Saratoga.

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Compliance Officer, the New York-bred turf champion of 2011, will make his first start in 11 months when he runs a $70,000 starter/optional claimer on Monday at a mile.

It will be the first start for Compliance Officer since Sept. 9, when he was beaten a head in the Ashley T. Cole at Belmont Park.

Compliance Officer came out of that race with an ankle injury that sidelined him the remainder of the year. When trainer Bruce Brown was bringing him back earlier this year, Compliance Officer popped a splint bone.

“It took a while to get it healed up, that’s behind him now,” Brown said. “It’s good to get him back over there; he’s been really training good. I really want to get this one race in him before the Ashley Cole at Belmont, so this is perfect timing.”

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Brown and owner Thomas La Marca claimed Compliance Officer for $25,000 on May 14, 2011, and he reeled off five consecutive victories, including the West Point, Ashley Cole, and Mohawk. After finishing 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Compliance Officer won the Claiming Crown Emerald at Fair Grounds.

In four starts last year, Compliance Officer won the Kingston and finished second in the Grade 3 Poker and Cole and third in the West Point.

Also Monday, Brown brings Spring to the Sky back in a second-level allowance race following a last-place finish in the Fiddlers Patriot Stakes on July 21, a race in which he blew the turn after breaking poorly.

“He ran up into fast pace, he was going almost a little too fast going into the turn,” Brown said. “Javier [Castellano] breezed him on the grass, and he was on the fence, he never even thought about coming off the rail. He’s a little quirky horse to ride, but Javier seems to get along with him.”

◗ Sam Grossman, the popular bugler for the New York Racing Association, did not perform Saturday after being arrested for drunken driving Friday night, according to The Saratogian.

According to the paper, Grossman, 48, was charged with driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content exceeding .08 percent, both misdemeanors. He also was charged with speeding and failure to keep right.