10/31/2015 2:45PM

Matrooh rallies to win Bold Ruler

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Matrooh wins the Bold Ruler Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Matrooh got back on a winning track Saturday at Belmont Park, rallying from several lengths back to win the Grade 3 Bold Ruler by 1 3/4 lengths.

The Bold Ruler was Matrooh's first start since he finished sixth in the Grade 3 Iselin at Monmouth Park on Aug. 30. Prior to the Iselin, Matrooh had won consecutive optional-claiming races at Belmont.

Matrooh is trained by Chad Brown, who was at Keeneland on Saturday for the Breeders' Cup. His assistant, Cherie DeVaux, was on hand for the $200,000 Bold Ruler.

"We threw out his last race," DeVaux said. "He had to deal with a lot of kickback and got in a place he wasn't comfortable. Maybe he didn't like the track."

Green Gratto and Heaven's Runway dueled for the early lead in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler while being tracked by Matrooh along the inside and the 11-10 favorite El Kabeir.

Jockey Abel Castellano Jr. wheeled Matrooh outside the leaders entering the stretch as El Kabeir began to back up. Matrooh took the lead nearing the furlong pole and held off a late run from Mylute, who had trailed early in the five-horse field but finished well. Heaven's Runway was third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Mylute.

Matrooh, owned by Shadwell Stable, paid $10.60 as third choice in the race. He was timed in 1:21.24. The fractions were 22.58 seconds, 45.07, and 1:08.93.

El Kabeir, who was making his first start since April, tired to finish last. El Kabeir had been entered in the Kentucky Derby but was scratched with a bruised foot.

Castellano, the younger brother of jockey Javier Castellano, was fourth in the Monmouth Park standings this summer with 44 wins. He finished second in the standings at the Monmouth at Meadowlands all-turf meet, which concluded Saturday.

"I just swung him outside, and I knew I had a lot of horse," Castellano said of Matrooh.

Castellano said he plans to ride at Aqueduct this winter. The Bold Ruler was his second win on the Belmont card Saturday. He previously had won a second-level optional-claiming race on Just Call Kenny for New Jersey-based horseman Patrick McBurney.