Multiple graded stakes placed Stallwalkin’ Dude finally got his breakthrough in his tenth attempt in graded stakes company. Coming from just off the pace, the 6-year old gelding cruised past the pacesetters and held off a couple late runs to score in Belmont Park’s 7 furlong Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap.
Rail drawn Green Gratto broke on top and went out to set the pace. Threefiveindia was right there from post 2, and Caderyn and Touchofstarquality rushed up from the outside to join those two on the front end. Stallwalkin’ Dude settled in behind them in fifth. The rest of the field strung out behind the top 5 with about 10 lengths covering the lot at each call.
On the lead, Green Gratto set splits of :22.70 and :45.28. In the far turn, Touchofstarquality moved up alongside that one to challenge for the lead. But to their outside, Stallwalkin’ Dude was hitting his best stride, and as they hit the top of the stretch, Stallwalkin’ Dude cruised past those two and opened up by 3.
Down on the rail, Threefiveindia put in a late run after being held up behind rivals turning for home and cut into Stallwalkin’ Dude’s lead to finish just 1 ½ lengths behind second. Economic Model came on down the center of the track, and Mylute put in a late bid down the outside of him to finish third and fourth, respectively. The winning time was 1:21.66.
The order of finish was completed by pacesetter Green Gratto, Dannie’s Deceiver, Ami’s Flatter, Cadeyrn, Touchofstarquality, Face of Winner, and Farhaan.
Stallwalkin’ Dude paid $10.80, $4.90, and $2.90 for the win. Threefiveindia returned $5.80 and $3.40 for the place, and Economic Model returned $2.50 for the show. The $2 exacta paid $55.50, the $2 trifecta returned $150.50, and the $2 superfecta was worth $1,988.00.
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. was happy with how the race played out. "I got a very good trip,” he stated. “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."
By City Pace and out of the Dare and Go mare Chelle Spendabuck, Stallwalkin’ Dude was bred by Maria Haire and is owned in partnership by Head of Plains Partners and trainer David Jacobson. Now 46: 16-5-7, the winner’s share of the Bold Ruler purse made the gelding a millionaire, bumping his total earnings to $1,088,352.
Afterwards, winning trainer Jacobson concurred with Ortiz, Jr., stating, "That was a great race. 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."