10/31/2011 10:43AM

Belmont Park: Castellano, Jacobson win titles; Bold Ruler rescheduled


Belmont Park’s fall meet came to an abrupt end over the weekend, with the final 16 races of a scheduled 37-day session wiped out by an historic October nor’easter that pelted Long Island with heavy wet snow and wind, and generally wreaked havoc across a wide swath of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

Racing was halted after three races on Saturday as a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and ice blanketed the track, and Sunday’s nine-race program was canceled as well – the second full-card cancellation at Belmont this year, along with a June 9 card that was lost to excessive heat.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap, which had been scheduled as the ninth of 10 races on Saturday, will be brought back on Sunday, Nov. 6 at Aqueduct.

After four scheduled dark days Monday through Thursday this week, Aqueduct opens for a six-month stint on Friday, Nov. 4, with a special first-day post of 1:15 p.m. Thereafter, post time will be 12:20, with the exception of an 11:25 a.m. start on Thanksgiving Day, and 12 p.m. starts on Fri., Nov. 25 and Sat., Nov. 26.

On the track, Javier Castellano’s three-bagger on Friday vaulted him past Ramon Dominguez to win the riding title, 42-40. It was the first NYRA meet title for Castellano since 2007, and his first away from Aqueduct. John Velazquez won the last two races Saturday, and edged apprentice Ryan Curatolo for third, 27-26. Jose Lezcano was fifth with 23 wins.

David Jacobson, who shared the Aqueduct spring-meet title with Linda Rice, saddled 15 winners to garner his first NYRA meet outright. Rudy Rodriguez, who won the fall meet last year, was second with 13 wins. Bruce Brown (12), Rick Dutrow Jr. (11), and Todd Pletcher rounded out the top five.

Flying Zee Stable, whose founder Carl Lizza passed away July 8, was the leading owner with 12 victories, including wins in the Miss Grillo with Pure Gossip and the Bertram F. Bongard with Night Maneuver.

Favorites finished the fall meet 112 for 334, a win rate of 33.5 percent.