Horse: Ruler On Ice
Trainer: Kelly Breen
Morning Line Odds: 30/1
Career Record (Str-1st-2nd-3rd): 10-3-3-2
Career Earnings: $1,108,500
Pedigree: Sired by Roman Ruler out of a Saratoga Six mare (Champagne Glow)
Roman Ruler won the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, the Grade 2 Norfolk, Grade 2 Best Pall Stakes, and and Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes
Ruler on Ice is a half-brother to Champagne d'Oro, winner of the Grade 1 Acorn and Grade 1 Test takes, and an entry in this year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Key Stakes Wins: Grade 1 Belmont Stakes
Overview: Ruler On Ice struggled to maintain consistency early in the year when running races at shorter distances but uncorked the best race of his career to beat Stay Thirsty by ¾ of a length in the Belmont Stakes last June. The Belmont has become something of an abnormality in U.S. racing; it's the only Grade 1 race at a mile and a half on dirt and one of only a handful of graded stakes at that distance and surface. As a result, it's sometimes difficult to assess how a Belmont winner will do in other races and other distances, especially if the Belmont is the only major win for a specific horse, as it is for Ruler On Ice.
In his most recent start, Ruler On Ice finished 2nd to To Honor and Serve in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, a race where he found himself almost ten lengths back of the leaders after the first quarter of a mile. He made a nice closing move in the late stages, something that should earn him extra bonus points given the speed favoring nature of the Parx main track on that day. While he wasn't able to win the Pa. Derby, the way he ran the race should give his connections some optimism heading into the Breeders' Cup.
Ruler On Ice has a very even, grinding running style, somewhat similar to 2010 Belmont winner Drosselmeyer. This colt doesn't normally showcase a powerful turn of foot at a specific stage of the race, but instead attempts to churn out 12.5 second splits all the way around the track. He'll probably need some help in the Classic in the form of a quick pace to wear down some of his rivals, allowing him to grind out a victory in the final furlongs. And if the Churchill Downs main track comes up wet, all the better; Ruler On Ice won the Belmont Stakes over a muddy surface and he's 3-2-1-0 all-time on wet tracks.
2011 Belmont Stakes