Lael Stables' No Dozing notched his first graded stakes win, staying close to the early pace, taking command before the turn and clearing away for an emphatic 9 ¾-length win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap for 3-year-olds and up on Friday, Opening Day, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 43rd running of the Bold Ruler was originally slated for October 27 at Belmont Park before inclement weather canceled the card. Rescheduled as the first of 13 graded stakes for the 23-day fall meet, the handicap saw No Dozing stalk 2-1 favorite and 122-pound highweight Coal Front's early fractions of 22.14 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half in 44.92 on the main track labeled fast.
Approaching the turn, jockey Daniel Centeno, bidding for his first graded stakes win at a NYRA track, urged No Dozing to take command from the outside. The 4-year-old Union Rags gelding overtook Coal Front and gained separation in the stretch, completing the seven-furlong sprint in 1:23.81 without being seriously challenged in the final furlong.
No Dozing, carrying 119 pounds, won for the first time since besting a field of allowance optional claimers on July 21 at Saratoga while registering his second career stakes win, adding to the 2017 Concern at Laurel Park for trainer Arnaud Delacour.
“I talked to Arnaud this morning. We thought the speed was inside of me, so our plan was to keep close and not be left back,” said Centeno, who notched his sixth career graded stakes win and first since 2016 with Dark Nile in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks. “I had to use him a little in the beginning. We broke a little bit slow, but as soon as I got him going and put him in a good spot, he was comfortable all the way. When I went to the lead, he was gone. Turning for home, I had plenty of horse.”
Off as the 5-2 second choice, No Dozing paid $7.40 on a $2 win wager. He improved his career earnings to $485,590.
Calumet Farm's True Timber, returning to stakes company for the first time in six starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, rallied for second under jockey Joe Bravo, outkicking Delta Prince by 1 1/4 lengths.
Bon Raison, Coal Front and Petrov completed the order of finish.
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