Eternal Rule, whose unbeaten record was spoiled last time out, got back in the win column for trainer Sid Attard with a front-running victory in the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile Stakes on the evening of Sept. 7 in Erie, Pa (VIDEO).
With Jesse Campbell aboard, Eternal Rule was able to dictate an easy pace over the Presque Isle Downs Tapeta racing surface. He had plenty left for the drive to hold off the late charge of Alma d'Oro by one length in a time of 1:37.57. The clocking was well off the track record of 1:34.90 set by Gayego in winning the Presque Isle Mile in 2010.
A head loss to Essence Hit Man in the July 18 Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine in his previous race is all that stands between Eternal Rule and a perfect record. Don Myers' 4-year-old Ontario homebred gelding by Tribal Rule out of the Gold Legend mare Eternal Legend is now 2-for-2 at Presque Isle Downs, both victories coming in stakes events. Eternal Rule had never gone farther than seven furlongs previously.
Ten started in the Presque Isle Mile after four scratches, with Eternal Rule a slight choice over Bergerac, both at odds of 2-1. Among the scratches was morning line favorite Hunters Bay, who did not make the journey from Canada for trainer Reade Baker.
On the outside, Eternal Rule wrested the lead from Bartletts after veering out at the start and bothering a couple of rivals. After getting the lead from between horses, he was angled toward the rail by Campbell. From there, Eternal Rule could not have had an easier time of it, leading I'm Steppin' It Up and Plutonium comfortably while rattling off even quarter mile fractions of :24.41, :48.14, and 1:12.50.
Eternal Rule took a commanding edge over I'm Steppin' It Up and Jimmy Simms coming off the far turn, opening up on the field by daylight. Alma d'Oro, ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Todd Pletcher, emerged from the pack to give chase. And while able to cut into the advantage in the final furlong, Alma d'Oro was no threat to the winner, who responded to steady left-handed urging from Campbell to maintain control to the wire. Eternal Rule ran the final furlong in 12.73 seconds.
Alma d'Oro, who overcame a bad bump at the start and rallied from sixth at the quarter pole, finished second by three-quarters of a length over Photo Shoot. The latter, last on the final turn, altered course in the lane while extremely wide for Scott Spieth and rallied willingly to sew up the show spot over I'm Steppin' It Up.
Eternal Rule's sixth win in seven starts was worth $150,000, extending his career earnings to $470,323.
The winner carried 117 pounds and paid $6, $4, and $3.20 while keying a $33.60 exacta with Alma d'Oro, who returned $6 and $4.60. Photo Shoot, who drew into the field after the earlier scratches, paid $8 to show.
I'm Steppin' It Up was followed by Jimmy Simms, Hurricane Ike, Bergerac, Bartletts, Shellback, and Plutonium.
Besides Hunters Bay, the other scratches were Ponzi Scheme, Bluedacious, and Brujo de Olleros.