The Grade III, $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap is the closing Saturday feature at Belmont Park. A field of eight, led by Haskell winner MAXIMUM SECURITY, will line up in this seven-furlong dirt sprint. Post time for the Bold Ruler, Race 8 of 10 on the day, is 4:40 p.m. ET.
#1 MAXIMUM SECURITY (Even, morning-line favorite) has had plenty go wrong since winning the Florida Derby back in March, being DQ’d to 18th after crossing the wire first in the Kentucky Derby before running second in the listed Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth. He rebounded to win the Haskell in late July but missed a scheduled start in the Pennsylvania Derby due to colic. MAXIMUM SECURITY has demonstrated plenty of heart on the track so he’s tough to bet against despite drawing the rail in a race replete with frontrunning types. Luis Saez will have to ration his mount’s speed on the turnback.
#4 TRUE TIMBER (8-1) is most likely to spring a potential upset in the Bold Ruler. He had a strong second half of 2018, winning two upper-level allowance races before placing second in this race and the Cigar Mile. TRUE TIMBER was ambitiously spotted in the Pegasus World Cup and Godolphin Mile earlier this year and was too keyed up early off the bench in the Kelso last time out. Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, TRUE TIMBER still managed a third-place finish in that most recent heat, raising his record at Belmont to 6-2-1-2. Look for Joe Bravo to have this one rolling late.
#8 PRINCE LUCKY (3-1) has been inconsistent in 2019 but is a force to be reckoned with when on his game. He’s won three different stakes races this year, including the State Dinner over this course two-back. PRINCE LUCKY was a game second to Pat On the Back in the Kelso when last seen; a repeat of that effort would be good enough to land a share in the Bold Ruler. John Velazquez rides for Todd Pletcher.
The play: $4 exacta 1/4,8, $2 win 4 ($10)
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