Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot S. (gr. III)

(gr. III , 8.5f ,)

RULE (DK B/ h, 119 lb) $450,000
Roman Ruler —Rockcide , by Personal Flag
B—WinStar Farm, LLC, KY.; O—WinStar Farm LLC; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Uh Oh Bango (DK B/ h, 119 lb) $150,000
Top Hit —French Debutante , by French Deputy
B—Triple AAA Ranch, AZ.; O—Triple AAA Ranch; T—R. Kory Owens

Oak Motte (B h, 119 lb) $82,500
Valid Expectations —Raven's Bride , by Cherokee Colony
B—Bass/Seeligson Partnership, TX.; O—Bass Seeligson Partnership and Fitzsimons, Hugh; T—Thomas M. Amoss

Margins: neck, 2¾, 10¾. Others: Litigation Risk 117($45,000) , Grand Slam Andre 119($22,500) , My Time to Star 119 , Gallant Gent 119 , Bench the Judge 119 . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.

After a dominating, nine-length triumph in his stakes debut, Rule quickly graduated to graded status when he prevailed by a neck in the Dec. 4 Boyd GamingÕs Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III).

The feat was especially rewarding for Bill Casner and Kenny TrouttÕs WinStar Farm, which owns and bred the juvenile dark bay or brown colt in Kentucky.

Located near Versailles, Ky., WinStar has raced six other stakes winners this year, including graded victors Advice, homebred American Lion, and Hold Me Back. As breeders alone or in partnership with others, the operation is also represented by 2009 graded winners Girolamo, Rendezvous, Super Saver, and Witty.

Casner and Troutt, who are both residents of Texas, keep a band of approximately 100 broodmares and stand six stallions at WinStar.

Rule, a tenacious son of Roman Ruler who broke his maiden in his third try at Belmont Park Oct. 8, began showing his true abilities when he blew away his opponents in the Nov. 6 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Rule set a track record in that race, covering one mile in 1:37.45.

Rule is out of the Personal Flag mare Rockcide, who is a half-sister to 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide (by Distorted Humor).

Troutt and Casner acquired RockcideÕs dam, BelleÕs Good Cide, from Prestonwood Farm when they purchased the operation back in 2000 and renamed it WinStar.

Rule is RockcideÕs first foal. The 8-year-old mare has just one other named offspring, Afaaf, who is also by Distorted Humor. The filly fetched $300,000 at this yearÕs Keeneland September yearling sale. She was purchased by Shadwell from Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. Rockcide delivered a Distorted Humor filly Jan. 19 and is back in foal to that stallion.

Rockcide was bred by WinStar and raced by Kennard Warfield Jr. WinStar bought the mare back for $400,000 through B.T.A. Stable, agent, at the 2006 Keeneland November mixed sale. Consigned by Bill Reightler, agent, she was carrying Rule.

ÒWeÕve liked (Rule) all alongÉhe was a well-balanced, correct, racey kind of colt,Ó said Elliott Walden, vice president and racing manager of WinStar. ÒWith the market the way it was, we didnÕt feel like we were going to get paid for an (offspring of) Roman Ruler, who was an unproven sire at the time, so we decided to put (Rule) in our training operation.Ó

First-crop sire Roman Ruler is the sire of three other stakes winners: Homeboykris (gr. I), Zacatlan (Mex-I), and Seattle Ruler. Roman Ruler stood the 2009 season for $20,000 at John SikuraÕs Hill ÔnÕ Dale Farms near Lexington. He will stand for the same fee in 2010.ÑE.M.