Rule, making his first start of 2012, got back to his winning ways immediately with a gritty score in the $200,000 Monmouth Cup (G2) [VIDEO] at the New Jersey track on Saturday.
Rule, along with Sloane Ranger, set easy fractions of :25.43 seconds for the first quarter of a mile and then :49.72 for the half mile. Turning for home, Rule put away his competitor and easily held of the late run of Grade 1 winner Flat Out, stopping the timer in 1:37.71 for the flat mile over a fast main track.
“He came out of the gate with running on his mind,” said winning rider Joe Bravo. “I don’t care how long the layoff, this horse was ready to go the minute the gates opened. He was doing it very easy. (Trainer) Todd (Pletcher) had him ready to run and I just steered him around the track.”
"He ran big, real big," said Anthony Sciametta Jr., assistant to Pletcher. "He looked like he was on the engine the whole way. He was just waiting for Joe to turn him loose.”
Rule, who broke from the outside post, was making his first start since last October. From 16 starts, his record stands at 6-2-5, good for earnings of $1,139,700, with wins in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot S. at two and Grade 3 Sam F. Davis S. at three.
Five-year-old Rule, by Roman Ruler, is one of two winners out of Rockside. She is a half-sister to Distorted Humor's 2003 Eclipse champion 3-year-old and Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner Funny Cide.