04/13/2013 2:28PM

Parx Racing: Ruler On Ice lands in tough allowance spot

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ruler On Ice is just 1 for 11 since winning the Belmont Stakes in 2011 and will make his third start of the year Tuesday at Parx Racing.

Ruler On Ice, who has gone 1 for 11 since upsetting the 2011 Belmont Stakes at 24-1, and Alma d’Oro, a multiple stakes winner mired in a 12-racing losing streak, will look to rebuild their confidence when both New York-based horses ship to Parx Racing for Tuesday’s $55,000 feature.

The one-mile money allowance drew a stakes-caliber field of six that also includes Easter Gift, the winner of the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx last September, and Ponzi Scheme, the winner of a sprint stakes at Monmouth Park last summer and a two-time stakes winner going two turns in 2011.

The now 5-year-old Ruler On Ice looked like he had regained his form when he defeated three opponents in a third-level optional $75,000 claimer going a mile at Aqueduct in late January to snap a nine-race losing skid. But Ruler On Ice regressed when he endured a wide trip and finished ahead of only two horses in the Grade 3 Excelsior on March 23.

An excursion to Parx, where he has run well in the past, could be what Ruler On Ice needs to restore his confidence.

In February 2011, Ruler On Ice cleared his first allowance condition at Parx as the 4-5 favorite. Seven months later, he rallied to finish second, earning a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure, in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby.

Local jockey Stewart Elliott will become the seventh different rider whom trainer Kelly Breen has tried on Ruler On Ice since the 2011 Travers, a list that includes Garrett Gomez, Rosie Napravnik, and Alan Garcia.

The 7-year-old Alma d’Oro, part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Todd Pletcher, has gone winless since taking a listed stakes at Delaware Park in July 2011.

He subsequently has run well several times, including runner-up finishes in the Grade 3 Ack Ack, Grade 3 Skip Away, and the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile.

But his first start of 2013, racing over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park against optional $100,000 claimers, produced a 74 Beyer that is the lowest Alma d’Oro has recorded since finishing last going 1 1/8 miles at Laurel Park in March 2011.

The best recent form belongs to the Chad Brown-trained Easter Gift, who shipped north from Florida to win a third-level optional $75,000 claimer at Aqueduct on March 7 with a 91 Beyer. The runner-up from that race finished second with a 94 Beyer in his next start.