3 Ruler on Ice (Breen/Valdiva): Only non-maiden win was a first level allowance in Philly. Seems like an awfully huge step for his first stakes win.
That was my analysis of the Belmont winner. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would do the same. In fact, depending upon my mood, I may not be as charitable! Yet, he won. Sure his ‘wet’ Tomlinson number was 395, but Santiva is a 382 and Shakleford and Mucho Macho Man are both over 400 and have better resumes. Before we castigate Shakleford and MMM for not having the pedigrees to go long – neither does Ruler on Ice! In fact, his distance number was second lowest in the field behind only MMM. Didn’t have him on Saturday and wouldn’t bet on him again as I peruse the PPs.
So now the question is what happens now? Does he step up and become the leader in an apparently weak three year old division or does he become a footnote in history? A fluke horse that just happens to get lucky with the stars, moon and clouds aligning (and opening up) at just the right moment so he’ll always have “Classic Winner” next to his name.
As an owner, I kind of wouldn’t care if it was my lucky day. The thrill of winning a Classic and being able to say forever that you campaigned a Classic winner would be well worth the powers that be telling me how lucky I was. You bet your ass I was lucky – and I would have that forever.
Unfortunately, I don’t own Ruler on Ice (though I loves me our Tabby Lane) I kind of feel like I did when Sarava and Da’ Tara won their Belmonts. Neither went on to lead the division or make history, but will always have that footnote. Someone tell them to make room in their club, they got another member on Saturday.