Bold Ruler

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Bold Ruler
Sire Nasrullah
Grandsire Nearco
Dam Miss Disco
Damsire Discovery
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1954
Country United States
Colour Brown
Breeder Wheatley Stable
Owner Wheatley Stable
Trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons
Record 33:23-4-2
Earnings $764,204
Major wins
Futurity Stakes (1956)
Bahamas Stakes (1957)
Flamingo Stakes (1957)
Wood Memorial (1957)
Queens County Handicap (1957)
Trenton Handicap (1957)
Stymie Handicap (1958)
Carter Handicap (1958)
Suburban Handicap (1958)
Toboggan Handicap (1958)
American Classic Race wins:
Preakness Stakes (1957)
U.S. 3-Yr-Old Champion Male (1957)
DRF/TSD U.S. Horse of the Year (1957)
U.S. Champion Sprint Horse (1958)
Leading sire in North America
(1963-1969, 1973)
U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1973)
Bold Ruler Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack

Bold Ruler (April 6, 1954 – July 11, 1971) was an American Thoroughbred Hall of Fame racehorse who won the 1957 Preakness Stakes. He was the sire of two other Hall of Famers, Secretariat and Gamely.


Bred by the Wheatley Stable of Gladys Mills Phipps, Bold Ruler was foaled on April 6, 1954, at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, to Nasrullah and Miss Disco by Discovery. By coincidence, he and Round Table were foaled on the same night at Claiborne, and both returned to stand at stud there after their racing careers.[1] He was trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, and was regularly ridden by Eddie Arcaro.

Racing career

As a three-year-old, Bold Ruler won the 1957 Flamingo Stakes while breaking a track record and then won the Wood Memorial Stakes. In the U.S. Triple Crown races, he went off as the heavy 6:5 favorite in the Kentucky Derby but faded down the homestretch after fighting Arcaro's restraint. He finished fourth behind longshot winner Iron Liege and future Hall of Famers Gallant Man (who was mistakenly pulled up at the 16th pole by jockey Bill Shoemaker) and Round Table. In the Preakness Stakes, Bold Ruler bounced back to win. In the Belmont Stakes, he finished third after he was forced through exceptionally fast early fractions by Gallant Man's rabbit. Gallant Man set a new stakes record that day that remained until Bold Ruler's son Secretariat broke it in 1973. Bold Ruler went on to win other important races, and his performances that year earned him the U.S. 3-Yr-Old Champion Male and Champion Sprinter honors. In the Horse of the Year poll organised by the publishers of Daily Racing Form, he received 16 votes to beat Gallant Man (9 votes) and Dedicate (4 votes).[2] Dedicate was controversially[3] selected over Bold Ruler in the rival Thoroughbred Racing Assoction award, but Bold Ruler's win in a third poll conducted by Turf and Sport Digest magazine made him the "consensus" choice as Horse of the Year.[4]

Stud record

After a short campaign at age four, Bold Ruler retired to stud at Claiborne Farm, where he sired 11 champions, including Hall of Famers Gamely and Secretariat. Secretariat's dam was Somethingroyal.

Bold Ruler is also the grandsire of Bold Forbes, Foolish Pleasure, Hall of Fame fillies Ruffian and Bold 'n Determined, as well as Spectacular Bid. He is great-grandsire of Seattle Slew. He was the Leading sire in North America for seven straight years between 1963 and 1969 and again in 1973. Bold Ruler was the sire of two good sons with the same name, one in America, Bold Lad, who was the 1966 American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt and one in England, Bold Lad II, who was bred and raced by Gladys Phipps' sister, Beatrice.[5]

Bold Ruler's champions:

  1. Bold Bidder (b. 1962) - American Co-champion Older Male Horse (1966)
  2. Lamb Chop (b. 1960) - American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
  3. Bold Lad (b. 1962) - American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt
  4. Queen Empress (b. 1962) - American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
  5. Gamely (b. 1964) - American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, American Champion Older Female Horse (1968–69), Hall of Fame (1980)
  6. Bold Lad (IRE) (b. 1964)
  7. Successor (b. 1964) - American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt
  8. Queen of the Stage (b. 1965) - American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
  9. Vitriolic (b. 1965) - American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt
  10. Secretariat (b. 1970) - 9th U.S. Triple Crown Champion American Horse of the Year (1972–73), 1972 Champion 2 Year old Colt, 1973 Champion 3 year old colt, 1973 American Turf Horse of the Year, Hall of Fame
  11. Wajima (b. 1972) - American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse

Bold Ruler died from cancer at Claiborne Farm in July 1971, and is interred there. In 1973, he was posthumously inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Bold Ruler was listed at No.19 in the Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the top 100 United States thoroughbred horse racing champions of the 20th century.


Pedigree of Bold Ruler
Nearco Pharos Phalaris
Scapa Flow
Nogara Havresac
Mumtaz Begum Blenheim II Blandford
Mumtaz Mahal The Tetrarch
Lady Josephine
Miss Disco
Discovery Display Fair Play
Ariadne Light Brigade
Outdone Pompey Sun Briar
Sweep Out Sweep On


  1. Spiletta42. "Round Table: 1958 Horse of the Year". Retrieved 2012-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Bold Ruler Captures Horse of the Year Honors". St. Petersburg Times. 1957-11-26. Retrieved 2012-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Horsemen Argue Top Selection". Washington Reporter. 1957-12-06. Retrieved 2012-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Bold Ruler Horse of the Year in Consensus of Turf Polls". Youngstown Vindicator. 1957-12-21. Retrieved 2012-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Wicks, B. M. (1973), The Australian Racehorse, Canberra: Libra Books, ISBN 0-909619-00-X<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links