Roman Ruler Lords Over Field in Norfolk
Photo: Benoit
Roman Ruler ridden by Corey Nakatani wins the grade II Norfolk Stakes, Sunday at Santa Anita.
Edited from Oak Tree release
Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler, the 1-20 betting favorite, took the lead on the turn and coasted home for a 4 1/2-length triumph in the grade II, $200,000 Norfolk Stakes for 2-year-olds Sunday at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani at 120 pounds, Roman Ruler ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.27 and paid $2.10 and $2.10. There was no show wagering for the four-horse field, and $751,896 of the $828,666 in the place pool was wagered on Roman Ruler. There was a minus place pool of $130,038.

Bob Baffert, trainer of Roman Ruler, said the Kentucky-bred by Fusaichi Pegasus   would ship to Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Oct. 30.

Roman Ruler has a 3-1-0 record from four starts with earnings of $285,800. The Norfolk win was worth $120,000 for David Shimmon and Bill Bianco, who compose Fog City Stable.

"I think the blinkers were a positive (addition) just the way he acted in the post parade," Baffert said. "I was worried that he wouldn't behave himself."

Roman Ruler was coming off his first defeat, a head decision to Declan's Moon, in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) on Sept. 8. Adding blinkers for the Norfolk, Roman Ruler stalked Littlebitofzip through four furlongs in :46.05, advanced outside of that rival on the last turn, took the lead two furlongs from home, and drew off through the lane.

Boston Glory rallied to finish second, 13 lengths ahead of Littlebitfzip, and Forever Foxy finished fourth. Compulsive was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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