Bribon picked up his fifth win from 10 starts at
Belmont Park with a stretch-running success in the 35th running of
the Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap on Saturday.
Having already won the Grade 3 Westchester and Grade 1 Metropolitan
Handicap in 2009 and the Grade 2 True North Handicap in 2010 at the Big Sandy,
Bribon was reserved in sixth through an opening quarter of 23.13. The
7-year-old gelded son of Mark of Esteem advanced to fifth on the turn, swung to
the outside entering the lane, and grabbed the lead approaching the sixteenth
pole en route to a 1 ¾-length decision over Jersey Town.
“It seemed like nobody wanted to go to the lead,” said winning
jockey John Velazquez. “For him to be that close without me asking him, I
knew they were going slow. And that was good because I didn’t have to ask
him until the quarter-pole. And sure enough, when I did, he went on. When he
took the lead today, he was loping along.”
After Bribon drew post position 1 for the Bold Ruler, trainer Todd
Pletcher instructed Velazquez to get the gelding off the rail.
“[Bribon] put himself into the race early, which I think made all
the difference,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to Pletcher.
“Johnny was able to negotiate from the one hole into an outside trip.
Going into the race, we planned to maneuver to the outside if it worked out
Bribon, who entered the Bold Ruler off a third in the Grade 1 Alfred G.
Vanderbilt Handicap on August 8 and a sixth in the Grade 1 Forego on September
4 at Saratoga Race Course, earned $60,000 to boost his bankroll to $1,125,013, returned
$6.90 for a $2 wager as the 2-1 second choice, and completed the seven furlongs
Owned by Derrick Smith, Bribon is 11-9-4 from 36 races and is expected
to make his next start in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile
Handicap on November 27 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Half Metal Jacket and 9-5 favorite Tahitian Warrior filled out the
superfecta, with Wildcat Brief, Temecula Creek, Jack On the Rocks, and Roaring
Lion completing the order of finish.