2013 Bold Ruler Handicap Preview

2013 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont

Strapping GroomSaturday, October 26th will see the Grade 3 $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap in Race 8 on the card at Belmont. Named in honor of Hall of Fame Bold Ruler, the Bold Ruler Handicap has changed from its regular 6 furlong event to 7 furlongs and is a prep race for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. This year’s race has drawn a small field of 6 three year olds and up, and many are making this event into a match-up between late charging Forty Tales and early-speed horse, Strapping Groom. Strapping Groom has the edge on the morning line at 9/5 while Forty Tales is at 3 to 1. Both horses look great for this race and will be top contenders, so let’s take a look at them first.

Forty TalesAs stated earlier, the biggest problem for Forty Tales is that Strapping Groom looks like the only front-end speed here and that could certainly mean trouble for him. Left out alone on the lead, Strapping Groom can easily set the pace and save plenty enough kick for the finish. Strapping Groom only has one graded win under his belt with the Grade 1 Forego where he won it leading gate to wire in that 7 furlong event. He’ll have the capable hands of Junior Alvarado at the wheel again and will try and repeat that Forego victory. Forty Tales will welcome back Joel Rosario to the irons who steered him to 3 graded victories before Rosario was sidelined with an injury. His last two outings saw him in 4th place in the Grade 1 Kings Bishop and Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational, but I expect a much better effort in this field.

PoliticallycorrectOne horse who might challenge Strapping Groom for that early lead is Big Screen at 4 to 1 on the morning line. He has the potential to go with Strapping Groom and has gotten one of his best speed figures at Belmont, so I believe he will make a run for it. I don’t think he’ll be able to win this one, but enough pressure from him could cause Strapping Groom to have to work harder for that lead and in turn give late runners like Forty Tales a much needed advantage. Another possible option is Clearly Now. Clearly Now is more of a middle of the pack runner, but he will have the blinkers on Saturday and this could cause him to challenge Strapping Groom for the lead.  Like Big Screen, I’m not so sure he can hold up to the pressure on the front-end, but again he could cause trouble for Strapping Groom. This would give a big opportunity for my value play, Politicallycorrect. Politicallycorrect has the best speed figure of the bunch and I look for him to win this one. He bounced in his last outing and just couldn’t seem to get anything going, but I believe he will rally from that performance and get there in the Bold Ruler. I look for him and Forty Tales to make late charges and finish close, with Strapping Groom in third. Good luck everyone!





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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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