Lubash will try to win the Ashley T. Cole Stakes for a second straight year and third time overall.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Lubash will try to win the Ashley T. Cole Stakes for a second straight year and third time overall.
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Lubash Looks for Ashley T. Cole Stakes Repeat

Belmont Sunday card also features John Hettinger Stakes for NY-bred fillies and mares

With one of his familiar rivals looking to play spoiler, Lubash will try to win the $125,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds and older a second straight year and third time overall Sept. 20 on the inner turf at Belmont Park.

A two-time grade III winner, Lubash carries a three-race win streak into Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile turf race, but one of his familiar rivals awaits in five-time stakes winner Kharafa, who finished third to Lubash in last year’s Ashley T. Cole after defeating him by a head in the race's 2013 edition.

Ben Aliyu Stables' Lubash enters off a one-length victory over King Kreesa, another frequent New York-bred rival who is sitting out Sunday’s race, in the Aug. 28 West Point Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Lubash started his three-race win streak with a one-length decision over Kharafa in the Kingston Stakes May 25 on the Belmont turf.

"He's a really, really, really fun horse," said Lubash's trainer Christophe Clement. "He's gotten into a rhythm now, which is probably the best he has ever been. He's sound, and he tries hard more than ever. He got loose on me right before Saratoga and I didn't think he was going to make it back to the races, but thank God I was wrong and he came back and ran a good race [in the West Point] at Saratoga.

"All the credit goes to the owner [Leonard Pivnick], who has been really patient," he added. "He was a good horse when I got him; it [just] takes me a while to get it right."

With more than $1.2 million in earnings and 10 total stakes wins, 8-year-old Lubash is the leading earner and stakes winner for his sire Freud . He has won four of his past five starts on the Belmont turf courses.

After his runner-up Kingston performance, Paul Braveman and Timothy Pinch’s Kharafa enters Sunday’s race off a pair of starts on the Monmouth Park turf course. The 6-year-old son of Kitalpha won the Elkwood Stakes July 4 at Monmouth and enters off a seventh in the Aug. 2 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT), where the five-time stakes winner faltered as the 6-5 favorite.

Also Sunday at Belmont, New York-bred fillies and mares will try the inner course in the $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes, where Kendel Standlee’s The Tea Cups will try to replicate the late-running magic that carried her to victory in the Yaddo Stakes Aug. 28 on the Saratoga turf.

In the Yaddo, The Tea Cups rallied from 10th early to register a one-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile race. The 5-year-old daughter of Hard Spun  will face some familiar rivals Sunday, as Yaddo runner-up Old Harbor, third-place finisher Selenite, and also-rans Chrysolite, Unbelievable Dream, and Invading Humor will try her again in Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile test.

The field also features Freudie Anne, who has won all three of her turf starts, including the Aug. 13 New York Stallion Series Stakes on the Saratoga turf.

Entries: Ashley T. Cole S.

Belmont Park, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Race 3

  • STK
  • 1 1/8m
  • Inner turf
  • $125,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 2:01 PM (local)
11Iron Power (NY)Jose L. Ortiz118Christophe Clement-
22Readthebyline (NY)UNKNOWN123Danny Gargan-
33More Zen Tea (NY)Joel Rosario116Joseph F. Orseno-
44Runaway Posse (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose Lezcano116William I. Mott-
55Ocala Jim (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118David G. Donk-
66Empire Dreams (NY)UNKNOWN123Thomas Albertrani-
77Lubash (NY)Junior Alvarado123Christophe Clement-
88Kharafa (NY)Javier Castellano120Timothy A. Hills-

Entries: John Hettinger S.

Belmont Park, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Race 8

  • STK
  • 1 1/8m
  • Inner turf
  • $125,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:46 PM (local)
11Old Harbor (NY)Elvis Trujillo120Russell J. Cash-
22The Tea Cups (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez123Jeremiah C. Englehart-
33Chrysolite (NY)John R. Velazquez116David G. Donk-
44Flipcup (NY)Junior Alvarado123William I. Mott-
55Saythreehailmary's (NY)Manuel Franco116John Morrison-
66Kate Is a Ten (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFernando Jara119Joseph G. Parker-
77Carameaway (NY)Jose Lezcano116Mitchell E. Friedman-
88Freudie Anne (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz116Eddie Kenneally-
99Unbelievable Dream (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJunior Alvarado120Barclay Tagg-
1010Invading Humor (NY)Javier Castellano123Bruce N. Levine-
1111Selenite (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.120David G. Donk-