outfitted with blinkers, Clearly Now collared front-running favorite
Strapping Groom at the top of the stretch and pulled away to a 1
½-length victory in Saturday's 38th running of the Grade 3, $200,000
Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Now, who was beaten less than a length in each of his previous four
starts, broke alertly under jockey Jose Lezcano and settled two lengths
behind Strapping Groom, who set unpressured fractions of 22.90 seconds
for the opening quarter-mile and 45.49 for the half. Ranging up on the
turn, Clearly Now seized command straightening for home and was never
challenged thereafter, crossing the finish line in 1:21.52 for seven
victory was Clearly Now's first since taking Gulfstream Park's Grade 3
Swale in March, after which he finished second in the Grade 3 Bay Shore
at Aqueduct Racetrack and third in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented
by NYRA Rewards on Belmont Stakes Day. He was promoted from third to
second in the Charlie Barley in July at Woodbine and most recently was
runner-up in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob on September 21 at Parx Racing.
was on the verge of winning one of these races and today he put it all
together, so it was great," said Brian Lynch, who trains the 3-year-old
son of Horse Greeley for Up Hill Stable. "Admittedly at Parx the other
day, he was on the worst part of the track, but we thought if we could
adjust something to get him to switch [leads], it would make a
difference. We started breezing him in blinkers and you could just see
that that was the ticket."
Tales finished second, with Saturday's Charm along to edge Strapping
Groom for third. Big Screen was fifth, with Politicallycorrect checking
excuse for him," said Strapping Groom's rider, Junior Alvarado. "He
broke good and was on the lead. I never had pressure from anybody. I
waited for as long as I could, and when I asked him he didn't kick."
worse than third in10 career starts, Clearly Now earned $120,000 to
increase his bankroll to $508,236. He returned $9.80 as the 7-2 third
said the Bold Ruler likely will be the final start of the 2013 for
Clearly Now before he travels to Florida to prepare for his 4-year-old
give him a bit of a break," he said. "He's had a great 3-year-old
campaign and we look forward to ringing in the New Year."