10/26/2011 4:54PM

Belmont: J J's Lucky Train back at best distance for Bold Ruler

Maryland Jockey Club/Jim McCue
J J's Lucky Train, winning the Miracle Wood at Laurel Park, cuts back to seven furlongs for the Bold Ruler Handicap.

ELMONT, N.Y. – After a couple of attempts at big money around two turns, J J’s Lucky Train will cut back to his preferred distance of seven furlongs when he runs in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.

The Bold Ruler, the final graded stakes to be run at the meet, drew a field of nine, including Uptowncharlybrown, who returned from a 16-month layoff to run second to Tapizar in a stakes-caliber allowance race on Oct. 8. However, Uptowncharlybrown is cross-entered in a Friday allowance race at Monmouth Park and is expected to run there, unless Monmouth’s main track is wet and deemed unsafe by Bob Hutt, managing partner of Fantasy Lane Stable, which owns the colt.

J J’s Lucky Train and Justin Phillip are the only two 3-year-olds entered in the Bold Ruler, which is a stepping-stone to the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 26.

It just so happens that J J’s Lucky Train finished second to Justin Phillip in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens here on Belmont Stakes Day, a race run at seven furlongs over a muddy track.

Prior to that, J J’s Lucky Train won the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct and the listed Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel, both at seven furlongs.

“I think seven-eighths is his best distance,’’ trainer William Anderson said.

Anderson said he ran J J’s Lucky Train in the Haskell at Monmouth Park in part because many of the partners that own the horse are from New Jersey.

“You don’t get to run for a million dollars too often in your own backyard,’’ Anderson said.

After running fourth, beaten only three lengths,  J J’s Lucky Train came back in the Smarty Jones at Parx, where he is based. The horse finished sixth behind Wilburn, but the race produced four next-out winners.

“In the Smarty Jones, he got cut up going into the first turn, he had some mucus, and lost some weight,’’ Anderson said. “We gave him some time, a couple of easy works, then the last couple of works were a bit stronger and he’s back to his old self.’’

Jose Ferrer will ride J J’s Lucky Train from post 5 under 114 pounds.

Rodman, who finished fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, cuts back to seven furlongs in the Bold Ruler. In May, Rodman finished second to Tizway in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. Others entered in the Bold Ruler include the coupled entry of Caixa Eletronica and Calibrachoa, Flat Bold, Sangaree, and Rule by Night.

Turnback the Alarm fails to fill

There were only four entries for the Grade 3, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Stakes and thus it was not carded for Saturday. The Turnback the Alarm, a route race for fillies and mares, has been run since 1995.

The race was not brought back for Sunday’s card, but it is possible it could be brought back at Aqueduct, though that has yet to be determined.

Denomination may run again

Denomination may not be done racing after all.

Following her victory in the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes here on Oct. 15, trainer Christophe Clement mentioned the 5-year-old mare was cataloged to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton auction in Lexington. Ky., on Nov. 6.

However, Clement said Wednesday that Denomination could be shipped to Kentucky next to run in the Grade 3, $100,00 Cardinal Handicap on Nov. 6, the day of the sale.

Clement said that owner Ghislaine Head may want to keep Denomination in training “a bit longer.’’

Denomination, a 5-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, has won a trio of Grade 3 races this year, including the Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs and the Violet at Monmouth Park.

Jacobson closing in on trainer’s title

When David Jacobson won Wednesday’s first race with Ever a Friend ($6.30), it was his 15th win of the meet, giving him a four-win lead over both Rudy Rodriguez and Bruce Brown, neither of whom won a race on the card.

As was the case in the spring, the jockey’s title will boil down to Javier Castellano and Ramon Dominguez. Castellano entered the final five days of the meet with a narrow 37-36 lead. In the spring, Dominguez beat Castellano by two wins.

Aqueduct will move up post time

With a few exceptions, first post at Aqueduct will be 12:20 p.m. Eastern, 10 minutes earlier than usual.

The meet opens on Nov. 4 with a first post of 1:15 p.m., in part because that is the first day of the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, which goes to post at 2 p.m. Thereafter, however, first post moves to 12:20 with the exception of Thanksgiving Day (11:25 a.m.) and Nov. 25-26 when it’s noon.

The guaranteed late pick four pool on Saturdays at Aqueduct will be $250,000.