Bold Ruler Handicap Pick to Win

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, October 31, 2020

It's a real quiet weekend of Stakes racing as the horse racing world gets ready for next week's extravaganza that is the Breeders' Cup (can't wait for the races, but all the legwork, analysis, research, writing, it's going to a few long days).

We'll try to sharpen up our handicapping skills before the Big Show at Keeneland next weekend with today's Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.

The ninth race could take a different shape with morning line favorite PHAT MAN (PP: 6 ML 2-1) scratched along with the longest shot on the board WENDELL FONG (PP: 3 ML 10-1) out as well. That leaves four horses to compete for the Bold Ruler title.

Speed usually plays well in skinny fields. SHARE THE RIDE (PP: 2 ML 5/2) and MAJESTIC DUNHILL (PP: 5 ML 5/2) flashed speed in their most recent starts; however, frontrunning hasn't been the norm as both made the style change from closing to sprinting a short time ago.

SHARE THE RIDE didn't have any early 1s in his past 10 performance lines until his last two efforts. MAJESTIC DUNHILL was near the back, like way back, in the nine starts prior to his last when he ran right off the leader all the way around the track. 

Early pace figures and fractions say SHARE THE RIDE is the faster of the two and should edge out to the lead when the gates open. MAJESTIC DUNHILL will likely fly co-pilot. SHARE THE RIDE faded, hard, in his last start despite getting easier fractions than he did in his previous effort and today he adds a furlong; worrisome.

MAJESTIC DUNHILL dueled from gate to wire in his last start and could move forward today in his third run off the bench. His resume says round three should be close to his best in the three-race cycle but, again, dull fractions in his last race raise concerns. It's especially troubling given he ran faster in slop two back than he did on a fast track in his last go.

Tiring legs from the two "frontrunners" could set the race up nicely for ARCH CAT (PP: 4 ML 10-1) as he could get the perfect trip, sitting right behind the leaders, patiently running his pace, and then hitting the gas out of the turn. His late pace figures are tops in the remaining field with PHAT MAN on the sideline watching. If he's within a length or so entering the stretch, he'll be hard to hold off at the wire.

MIHOS (PP: 1 ML 4-1) will likely be last in line after the race starts, racing in ARCH CAT's shadow. His late pace numbers are right inline with ARCH CAT's and the two will likely come in tandem as they approach the wire.

With only four horses in the Bold Ruler field, two sprinters and two stalkers, early fractions are the key. If the opening quarter is 22.5 or slower and the half run at 46 or more, speed wins. Anything faster is likely to be too fast for the newfound running styles of SHARE THE RIDE and MAJESTIC DUNHILL.

In a short field, the front two should be able to control the pace. MAJESTIC DUNHILL showed more stamina than SHARE THE RIDE in his last start, so we give the 5 the edge for the win.


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