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Feb 09, 2012

Ruler On Ice and Shackleford meet in Donn Handicap


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Triple Crown race winners Ruler On Ice and Shackleford head a field of 11 older thoroughbreds for Saturday's 1 1/8- mile Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. The two four-year-olds will each be making their 2012 debuts.

Drawing post three is the 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice. The gelding, trained by Kelly Breen, will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, one of Breen's regular jockeys.

"She's been riding up a storm at Fair Grounds," said Breen about Napravnik. "With Garrett Gomez out (with an injury), it's an opportunity to go with Rosie."

Owned by Lori and George Hall, the gelding proved to be one of the top three- year-olds last year. Along with his Belmont Stakes win, he was third in the Breeders' Cup Classic after being bumped at the start.

"At times he has a little bit of trouble with the pace. He's just not that quick out of the gate," said Breen.

Ruler On Ice was third in the Sunland Derby, second in the Federico Tesio, third in the Haskell, fourth in the Travers and runner-up in the Pennsylvania Derby. He wrapped up his 2011 season with an unfortunate fifth in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Ruler On Ice has banked more than $1.6 million for the Halls with three wins in 12 career starts.

Shackleford, last year's Preakness Stakes champ, will start from post nine with regular rider Jesus Castanon in the saddle. Trained by Dale Romans, the chestnut colt is owned by Michael Lauffer and W. D. Cubbedge.

In addition to the Preakness win, Shackleford posted a second in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile behind Caleb's Posse at Churchill Downs. Earlier at Churchill he was fourth in the Kentucky Derby and then fifth in the Belmont Stakes.

"He hasn't missed a beat. He hasn't missed a beat in his life," Romans said.

In 12 career starts the colt has three wins and is within $15,000 of the $2 million mark in lifetime earnings.

Here is the complete field for the Donn in post position order: Where's Sterling, Jose Lezcano; Mission Impazible, Javier Castellano; Ruler On Ice, Rosie Napravnik; Redeemed, Edgar Prado; Soaring Empire, Julien Leparoux; Al Khali, Alan Garcia; Flat Out, Alex Solis; Trickmeister, Ramon Dominguez; Shackleford, Jesus Castanon; Hymn Book, John Velazquez and Sangaree, Rajiv Maragh.

Post-time for the Donn Handicap is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. (et).

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