Say Florida Sandy rebounded Saturday from a fifth-place finish in the Westchester Handicap (gr. III) last weekend to win Aqueduct's $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) by 1 1/2 lengths over a troubled Delaware Township. The win is the third from six starts on the current year for the 7-year-old New York-bred, who last won a graded stakes in December on the inner track at Aqueduct.
After pressing the pace in the Westchester seven days prior to the Bold Ruler, Say Florida Sandy was content to bide his time in fifth through the early going as Max's Pal and Prince Monty hooked up in a speed duel, those two setting fractions of :21.99 and :45.13. Say Florida Sandy moved into contention while four-wide on the turn and drew away in the stretch en route to the victory. Delaware Township finished second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Lake Ponchartrain. Kashatreya came home fourth, followed by Max's Pal, Shadow Caster, and Prince Monty.
"It was rough out there," said Rick Wilson, Delaware Township's rider. "(Delaware Township) finished up good and probably should have won the race. I saw a hole and went for it, but it closed up. That's race riding."
John Rotella's Say Florida Sandy (Personal Flag--Lolli Lucka Lolli, by Sweet Candy) was bred by Bacon Sanford and is trained by Juan Serey. He earned $60,000 for the win, his 25th from 70 starts. In the 1998 Bold Ruler, Say Florida Sandy finished second to Kelly Kip. He has twice won the Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) -- most recently in December – and five listed and seven restricted stakes races. Jockey Joe Bravo rode the winner, who completed the six furlongs in 1:08.67 on a fast track.
"I think we made a mistake with him last time," said Serey, referring to the Westchester. "He doesn't like to be held back too much; he just wants to go, go, go. I was surprised by the big price he paid."
Say Florida Sandy returned $10.40, $4.10, and $2.50. Betting favorite Delaware Township paid $3 and $2.20. Lake Ponchartrain was worth $2.30 to show. The winning exacta combination returned $36. (Chart, Equibase