Ruler On Ice wins Belmont Stakes
Ruler On Ice wins Belmont Stakes

Click above to watch Ruler On Ice winning the Belmont Stakes

(Image : Nasdaq - Footage : NYRA)

BELMONT STAKES

11 June 2011

The parade of upsets on a rainy New York Saturday afternoon continued when the unconsidered Ruler On Ice (Roman Ruler), forwardly placed from the start by jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., kept right on going to post a 24-1 upset in the 143rd running of the GI Belmont Stakes.

Valdivia was emotional after the race. “Turning for home, everything started going in slow motion,” he said. “At the sixteenth pole, I thought, ‘This is the true Test of the Champion.’ It’s a great feeling. I have to thank the connections, George and Lori Hall and trainer Kelly Breen. I started working this horse this winter. I told Kelly that I liked him so much, I was going to freeze my butt off to come and work him every morning. He acts like he’s something special, and I don’t think we’ve gotten to the bottom of him yet.”

“He wouldn’t grow up,” Breen explained. “We were trying to see if with time he would mature without having to put blinkers on him. We were disappointed in the Tesio because we were looking at the Preakness, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Ever since he ran at Sunland Park, he came back with low red blood count, and it showed in the stall and it showed in the feed tub. It took a little time to get back to normal.” He added, “Blinkers was part of the maturity. He didn’t mature as fast as we wanted to. He’s already a gelding, so we can’t castrate him again, so we put blinkers on. The first time out of the gate, Jose was on him. He was still goofing off and didn’t break great. Last week, he broke right and it’s like sometimes, the bulb just goes on. It was a perfect storm of things going right, and that’s how we got here.”

GI Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford (Forestry), on the muscle in the post parade, bounced out of his outside post and quickly went to the lead. Meanwhile, Animal Kingdom was caught between Monzon (Thunder Gulch) and Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) and clipped heels, then scrambled to regain his footing as jockey John Velazquez attempted to get his left iron back. The two wound up spotting the field several lengths.

Ruler On Ice tracked Shackleford from the start as the chestnut put up splits of 0:49.08 and 1:14.51. The Preakness winner didn’t let out a notch on the sweeping second turn, however, and Ruler On Ice edged closer. Brilliant Speed loomed a serious threat entering the stretch, but appeared to hang, and Ruler On Ice forged on determinedly to secure the unlikely victory. Longshot Stay Thirsty, who was also in touch early, stayed on gamely along the fence. Shackleford ran out of gas and was tagged at the wire by Nehro (Mineshaft). “We had it the way we wanted,” acknowledged trainer Dale Romans. “He just didn’t hang on.” Jockey Jesus Castanon added, “My horse is a fighter. He tried not to let anyone pass him, but he got a little tired. He handled the off track fine, no problem .”

Animal Kingdom made an admirable outside move on the far turn, but had nothing left for the final furlong. “It looks like he was pinched by the horses on either side,” said trainer Graham Motion. “The horse almost fell down - Johnny couldn’t believe the horse stayed up. He lost his iron.” Motion added, “It’s really disappointing. It’s disappointing not to give the horse a chance to run his race. I thought down the backside we didn’t have any shot at all, and then he started to make that incredible move. But it was asking too much, late.”

BELMONT STAKES 2011

FINAL RESULT

#

Horse

Sire

Jockey

Trainer

1

RULER ON ICE

Roman Ruler

Jose Valdivia Jr

Kelly Breen

2

STAY THIRSTY

Bernardini

Javier Castellano

Todd Pletcher

3

BRILLIANT SPEED

Dynaformer

Joel Rosario

Tom Albertrani

4

NEHRO

Mineshaft

Corey Nakatani

Steve Asmussen

5

SHACKLEFORD

Forestry

Jesus Castanon

Dale Romans

6

ANIMAL KINGDOM

Leroidesanimaux

John Velazquez

Graham Motion

7

MUCHO MACHO MAN

Macho Uno

Ramon Dominguez

Kath Ritvo

8

SANTIVA

Giant’s Causeway

Shaun Bridgmohan

Eddie Kenneally

9

MONZON

Thunder Gulch

Jose Lezcano

Ignacio Correas IV

10

MASTER OF HOUNDS

Kingmambo

Garrett Gomez

Aidan O’Brien

11

PRIME CUT

Bernstein

Edgar Prado

Neil Howard

12

ISN’T HE PERFECT

Pleasantly Perfect

Rajiv Maragh

Doodnauth Shivmangal

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

Comment