10/27/2010 3:23PM

Wildcat Brief to Bold Ruler instead of Sprint

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Wildcat Brief (left), finishing second to Roaring Lion in the Mr. Prospector, will make his last start of the year in Saturday's Bold Ruler.

ELMONT, N.Y. − After Wildcat Brief’s third-place finish in the Grade 1 Vosburgh here Oct. 2, it would not have raised eyebrows if his connections had opted to run him in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.

After briefly considering it, trainer Ben Perkins Jr. and owner Ben Perkins Sr. opted for the more conservative − and less expensive − route of Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park. Wildcat Brief drew post 3 of 8 for the Bold Ruler, which shares billing Saturday with the Grade 3, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Perkins Jr. said Wildcat Brief’s late-running style and the expense of running in a Breeders’ Cup race were why he and his father skipped the Sprint.

“With his style, you need a lot of luck,” Perkins Jr. said. “It’s $75,000 by the time you get there. That would have taken away a lot of what he’s already made. And he’s had a pretty solid campaign all year.”

Wildcat Brief has won three of his eight starts this year, including a 1 1/4-length score in the Icecapade Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sept. 5. After that, he made the jump to the Grade 1 Vosburgh, in which he raced in last position early before rallying from 13 lengths back to finish third behind Girolamo and Riley Tucker, both of whom were among the 12 horses pre-entered in the Sprint.

Wildcat Brief dropped so far back early on in the Vosburgh that jockey Garrett Gomez told Perkins, “It took a while to make him realize he was in a race,” Perkins said.

The Bold Ruler is run at seven furlongs and will be Wildcat Brief’s first race at the distance. While the race could be used as a prep for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 27, Perkins said this would be Wildcat Brief’s last race of the year.

“If he shows he can handle seven-eighths it’ll give us options for next year,” Perkins said. “If he looks like he belongs at that level, then we could have a horse for next year’s Breeders’ Cup.”

Other top contenders for the Bold Ruler include Grade 1 winner Bribon, multiple stakes winner Roaring Lion, the 3-year-old Tahitian Warrior, and Vosburgh runner-up Temecula Creek.

Funny Moon on favorite surface

Funny Moon returns to Belmont Park, where she is a multiple graded stakes winner, when she runs in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm.

Funny Moon is 4 for 6 at Belmont, including wins in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks last year and the Grade 2 Shuvee in May. She finished third behind Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic hopefuls Life at Ten and Unrivaled Belle in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps here in June.

In her last two starts, Funny Moon finished third in the Delaware Handicap and fifth in the Grade 1 Spinster over Keeneland’s synthetic surface.

Funny Moon, the 120-pound highweight, will break from the rail under Alan Garcia. The rest of the field includes Banker’s Buy, Miss Match, Manitoba Miss, Way With Words, Awesome Maria, My Dinah, Nicksappealinglady, and Our Khrysty.

Well Positioned eyes Grade 1

Well Positioned, who came off an eight-month layoff to win a third-level allowance race here Oct. 14, will be headed for a Grade 1 stakes next time out, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said.

Dutrow is looking at either the $250,000 Cigar Mile here Nov. 27 or the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26.

“We’d like to run him here,” Dutrow said, referring to Aqueduct. “He likes this track, wouldn’t have to ship. But if this race comes up real tough and the Clark comes up easy, we’ll go there.”

In his comeback race, Well Positioned was passed in the stretch but came back on to win by 3 3/4 lengths. He ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.92 and earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Dutrow said Well Positioned needed surgery on both front legs during the winter and that when he was getting Well Positioned ready for the Oaklawn Park Handicap, the horse developed some hind-end issues that required additional time, but no additional surgery.

“I don’t know what it was, but he’s come back the right way,” Dutrow said. “He trained very good. He came out of his race good, so we’re going to go for the gut with him.”

Dutrow said it is unlikely that Arson Squad, a 7-year-old gelding who won an overnight stakes at Belmont on Sunday, would run in the Cigar Mile. Dutrow said he would look to find an easier spot for him.

◗ NYRA will begin offering wagering on simulcasts from South American tracks beginning with the opening of Aqueduct on Nov. 5. The races from seven tracks in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay will be offered following the simulcasts from Calder and Laurel Park, at approximately 5:30 p.m. daily.