01/30/2013 2:48PM

Aqueduct: Belmont winner Ruler On Ice ends long drought

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Ruler On Ice, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., earns his first win since the 2011 Belmont Stakes in Wednesday's third race at Aqueduct.

That sigh of relief emanating from Aqueduct early Wednesday afternoon came from trainer Kelly Breen after watching Ruler On Ice win for the first time since his upset victory in the 2011 Belmont Stakes.

Under Irad Ortiz Jr., Ruler On Ice rallied from last in a four-horse to field to run down pacesetting Spa City Fever and win a third-level allowance race by three-quarters of a length. It broke a nine-racing losing streak dating back to the Belmont for Ruler On Ice, a 5-year-old gelding by Roman Ruler owned by George and Lori Hall.

“Whew,” Breen said afterward. “It’s nice to be back in the winner’s circle with a classic winner. I thought he would have been a little short going into it, but I think his class showed.”

Though he broke alertly, Ruler On Ice was third going into the first turn as Spa City Fever, under Guillermo Rodriguez, set the early fractions of 23.93 seconds and 47.24 for the opening half-mile. Ruler On Ice was then passed by Keep Me Informed down the backstretch.

Ruler On Ice came three wide in the stretch and in the final furlong he kicked in and was able to run down the 7-year-old Spa City Fever about 50 yards from the wire.

Ruler On Ice covered the mile over a fast track in 1:36.97 and returned $4.50 as the 6-5 favorite.

“A mile isn’t his best distance and it took him a while … you just like to see him the way he ran down the stretch,” Breen said. “I thought Irad rode him great.

Breen isn’t sure what would be next for Ruler On Ice, but he did say the horse would stay at Belmont Park to train.

“I like the way he trains here better than he did in Florida so there’s pretty much no reason to change anything right now,” Breen said. “I’m happy to get him back to his winning ways. I know it wasn’t easy. He looked tired. Even the jock said galloping out he said he felt tired.”

Vince More than 1 year ago
life and death to beat 3 allowance ( at best ) horses.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
A Four Horse Field...PITIFUL!!!...no ty...
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Its time to step up with Ruler on Ice and get aggressive with his training, being tired running 1:36 doesn't bode well to step into stakes competition. He needs better training or he just isn't a stakes horse and his Belmont win was just a fluke, I tend to lean to the latter. Congrats on finally winning a race after such a big win in the Belmont 9 races ago.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
I thought his class shone through the last eigth when he just galloped past the leader. He could take down a Grade three stake at the right distance on his best day so I don't think we have seen the last of him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looked like a 50K Claiming race. Time to retire this horse. He is not the same horse that he was in 2011.
B More than 1 year ago
And he wasn't much even in 2011 either.
John Cicale More than 1 year ago
You should retire. Jerk.
B More than 1 year ago
As his career has proven, his Belmont was a total fluke as has been the case with a number of Belmont winners in recent times. Because they have distance stamina doesn't mean they are quality horses at shorter and much more common distances. Shamefully, we don't breed our best for long distance racing anymore.
gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
Happy for the connections! I felt really bad for them after that mugging Bern Identity got in the Holy Bull.
silver_charm More than 1 year ago
It IS good to see #RulerOnIce go back to the barn a winner! Odd race it was, 4 #horses from 6/5 to 3-1? Strange! He looks like a character, the way he runs! #horseracing
Richard More than 1 year ago
Felt tired, from what? That measly little allowance race in 1:36 minute and seconds and change. I don’t understand what he’s so tired from. He was not in The Breeders Classic to be able to claim he’s still tired from running against those good old boys in The Classic. They need to stop babying that poor, tender baby. Get him out there doing his workouts with the other horses every morning and get him in shape and start booking him. He was a good horse and should be in the mix.
Brigitte de Saint Phalle More than 1 year ago
Yes, it was surprising that he was tired. When the trainer says a mile is too short he means Ruler on Ice has very little speed and relies on grinding 'em down - but that won't work over a measly mile so he had to run as fast as he could (not very) the whole mile. It needed to be a third level allowance! Next time longer, please.