“He brings us so much joy”: 9-year-old Kharafa goes for his fourth Ashley T. Cole

Under Antonio Gallardo, Kharafa won the Ashley T. Cole for the fourth time in 2016. NYRA photo

New York-bred Kharafa won the Ashley T. Cole Stakes at Belmont Park for the first time in September, 2013. He was four years old, and the winner’s circle ceremony was especially poignant. The win was Kharafa’s first in a stakes race, and his owner and breeder, Lawrence Durocher, had died four months earlier, leaving daughter Kate to represent her family.

After that race, an emotional Kate acknowledged that Kharafa had likely run his last race for the Durocher family. Before he died, Durocher had instructed his daughter to sell the horses, wanting to spare her the expense of maintaining them, a decree that had left her torn, wanting both to continue his legacy and to honor his wishes.

Even if Kharafa had nothing else of note in his career, that Ashley T. Cole win would have been a satisfying, if bittersweet, career highlight. But that victory was just the start of a remarkable career, and of a story that managed to reconcile Kate’s conflict.

Continue reading at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

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