Rule By Night
By Dan Silver | 01/23/2010 03:25 PM ET
Rule by Night dominated a maiden race on Saturday to become the second horse featured in the recently introduced “New York Watch” series, which shines the spotlight on promising colts and fillies that have recently cleared the maiden and allowance ranks at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course.
After finishing runner-up in his debut on December 26 at Aqueduct, Rule by Night looked like a seasoned veteran in his second start. The 3-year-old Malibu Moon colt broke sharply from the rail, shook off an early challenger, and widened easily throughout the stretch to win by 7-1/4 lengths. Sent off as the 6/5 favorite in Aqueduct’s 4th race, he completed the six furlongs in 1:11.11, defeating eight other 3-year-olds in the process.
Toby Sheets, assistant to 2009 Trainer of the Year Steve Asmussen, said they have high hopes for the promising youngster.
“He’s done nothing wrong since arriving in our barn,” Sheets said. “He has been training really well, and we were hoping that he would improve off his debut and run the way he did today. We’ll see how he comes out of the race and then make a decision on his next start.”
Rule by Night, owned by Gold Square Stable, was a $200,000 purchase at the 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His sire, Malibu Moon, was brilliantly bred, by A.P. Indy out of a Mr. Prospector mare. And just like Rule by Night, Malibu Moon broke his maiden in his second start, a maiden race at Hollywood Park in 1999. Unfortunately, he was subsequently retired after a knee injury cut short his promising career. However, he has gone on to become a very successful stallion, with seven graded winners in 2009 including Devil May Care, winner of the Grade 1 Frizette, and Funny Moon, winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks.
Rule by Night’s dam, Silver Reserve, is an unraced daughter of Silver Deputy. All three of her foals to race are winners, and she currently has a 2-year-old filly by Tale of the Cat and a yearling filly, also by Malibu Moon.
Jockey David Cohen, who was on board for Rule by Night’s debut, was not surprised by the effort today.
"I really expected him to improve off his last race,” Cohen said. “He will show us a lot more about his future in his next start, but he did it very easily today. Thanks to Gold Square and Steve Asmussen for giving me the chance to ride him.”
Many of the industry’s brightest stars embarked upon their careers at the NYRA tracks, including a number of recent Triple Crown race winners. Big Brown, Jazil, Birdstone, Funny Cide, and Empire Maker are all among the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes victors that kick-started their careers at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, or Saratoga.
The list also includes a brilliant triumvirate of fillies that broke their maidens at Aqueduct. Flashing, Little Belle, and Music Note all registered their first victories at the Big A before going on to win major Grade 1 races within the last two years.