10/26/2013 4:27PM

Belmont: Clearly Now responds to blinkers in Bold Ruler

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Clearly Now, racing with blinkers on under Jose Lezcano, scores in the Bold Ruler.

ELMONT, N.Y. - A change of equipment helped change the fortunes of Clearly Now, who ended a four-race losing streak by winning Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.

Racing with blinkers for the first time in his 10-race career, Clearly Now, under Jose Lezcano, rallied past pacesetting Strapping Groom inside the three-sixteenths pole and was never seriously threatened, beating Forty Tales by 1 1/2 lengths.

It was 4 3/4 lengths back to Saturday’s Charm. He was followed in the order of finish by 6-5 favorite Strapping Groom, Big Screen, and Politicallycorrect.

The win was the fourth in 10 starts for Clearly Now, a 3-year-old son of Horse Greeley owned by Up Hill Stable and trained by Lynch, who is based at Woodbine.

Earlier this year, Clearly Now won the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream Park. But he lost the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct by a head, the Grade 2 Woody Stephens by three-quarters of a length, the Charlie Barley Stakes at Woodbine by a half-length, and the Grade 3 Gallant Bob at Parx by three-quarters of a length when he was on the worst part of the Parx strip that day.

Lynch began training Clearly Now in blinkers and liked what he saw, as the colt would change his leads on cue enabling him to better finish his works. That translated to a better finish in Saturday’s Bold Ruler.

“We thought if we could just adjust something to get him to switch and we started to breeze him a little bit in the blinkers and you could see they were the ticket,” Lynch said. “Jose gave him a great ride. I’ve always thought he was on the verge of knocking one of these off and today was his day.”

Clearly Now covered the seven furlongs in 1:21.52 and returned $9.80 as the third choice.

Lynch said that Clearly Now would not run again this year and be pointed to a 4-year-old campaign that will likely begin at Gulfstream Park.