WinStar Farm LLC's homebred colt Rule proved best by a neck in the $75,000 Birdstone S. Aug. 4 at Saratoga after a head-to-head duel with Sangaree that lasted virtually the entire nine furlongs of the race.
Rule broke on top going into the first turn, but then settled just off Sangaree for the run up the backstretch. After six furlongs in 1:11.22, Rule began to inch closer to the leader going into the final turn. Sangaree floated Rule wide coming into the stretch, but the 4-year-old colt stayed right with his rival. The pair was virtually inseparable in the stretch until Rule poked his head in front in the final strides. The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.60 and earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure, tying a career-best.
"I expected to be on the lead, but Rajiv (Maragh, rider of Sangaree) gave me a little bit of a hard time at the beginning," winning jockey Javier Castellano said. "After that, he gave me a bump by the far turn. My horse lost his balance a little bit, and I had to let him recover and pick it up himself. He responded very well. He was much the best horse in the race."
Rule has now won four stakes and $942,700 in his career. He took the Delta Jackpot S. (G3) and Jean Lafitte S., when he set a one mile track record at Delta Downs, at age two and the Sam F. Davis S. (G3) the following year.
Rule is out of Rockcide, who is a half-sister to Champion 3-year-old male and duel classic winner Funny Cide.
Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farm, said Rule would be pointed to the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward S. (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 3.