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Ruler On Ice Entered at Saratoga

Ruler On Ice, winner of the 2011 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, will return to the races after a five-month freshening on Wednesday in a $95,000 optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles.


The seven-horse field also includes multiple-stakes winner Pleasant Prince as well as the graded stakes-placed Cease and Schoolyard Dreams.


“When you’re running for [a purse of] $95,000, you better have your running shoes on,” trainer Kelly Breen said.


After winning the Belmont last year, Ruler On Ice, a son of Roman Ruler owned by George and Lori Hall, finished fourth in the Grade 1 Travers, second in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby and third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. In the Grade 1 Clark Handicap in November, however, he was a dull fifth. When he returned to the races in February, he again puzzled with an eighth-place finish in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.


“These horses aren’t machines, and he needed a break,” Breen said. “When he ran in the Donn, he told us, ‘Guys, I’m tired.’ George and Lori have their farm in Versailles [Ky.], and we kicked him out and we let him have some time to eat some grass and be a horse. He seems to be coming back good right now.


“We’re eager to see how he’s going to run for his fall campaign. I don’t think he’s 100 percent fit, but we’re looking to take baby steps to get back into the big races.”




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