Head of Plains Partners and David Jacobson’s Stallwalkin’ Dude laid just off the pace in Saturday’s G3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park, then powered clear in the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths on the wire. The 6-year-old son of City Place, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., covered seven furlongs over the fast main track in 1:21.66 for trainer David Jacobson.
“That was a great race,” Jacobson said. “It was exactly the way we planned it in the paddock and Irad just did a great job. I didn’t realize it [was Stallwalkin’ Dude’s first graded stakes] until I read it in the papers. He’s won so many races for us and he’s been competing against some of the really good horses, and he’s a millionaire now, it’s great.”
Stallwalkin’ Dude was quick out of the starting gate, but Ortiz settled him back to fifth, just three lengths off the lead down the backstretch. The speedy Green Gratto set the pace, a length in front of Threefiveindia, Caderyn, and Touchofstarquality through fractions of :22.70 and :45.28. Stallwalkin’ Dude laid against the rail, patiently waiting behind the leading group, while chased by Farhaan, Ami’s Flatter and the favored Economic Model.
Rounding the turn for home, Touchofstarquality and Stallwalkin’ Dude moved wide to join Green Gratto on the lead. At the top of the lane Stallwalkin’ Dude moved past the other pair while three-wide, powering out to a three-length lead in mid-stretch. Threefiveindia snuck up the rail to close that gap to just 1 1/2 lengths at the wire while relegated to second. Economic Model got up for third, and Mylute was fourth.
“I got a very good trip,” said Ortiz. “We broke on top and planned to hold him as long as we can taking him back going seven-eighths behind the speed and that’s what we did. When I asked him he was there for me.”
Bred in Florida by Maria M. Haire, Stallwalkin’ Dude has had a lengthy career. He began in claiming company, working his way up into graded stakes to be second in the G1 Vosburgh last out. The Bold Ruler is his first graded stakes win, and brings his career record to 16 wins from 46 starts, with earnings of over $ 1 million.
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