Bold Ruler: The King of the Crop
The crop of Thoroughbred foals born in 1954 would one day be considered the greatest of the century. Among them were Round Table, Gallant Man, Iron Leige, Gen. Duke, and Bold Ruler.
Bold Ruler was born on April 6, 1954, at Claiborne Farm in Paris, KY. His dam, Miss Disco, was a stakes-winning sprinter by the incredible handicap horse Discovery. His sire was Claiborne’s great Nasrullah. The colt was leggy with long ears to match and was dark bay in color. He was skinny, but would grow into a tall and powerful beast. It was difficult to keep Bold Ruler in good condition throughout his time at the farm. He always seemed to get himself into some kind of trouble and was therefore kept in the back paddock where most visitors wouldn’t see him. He nearly lost his tongue once, leaving him with a sensitive mouth for the rest of his life. He even almost lost his leg in a battle with a water trough.
Two-Year Old Season
When Bold Ruler was of age, he was sent to trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. Sunny Jim found the colt to display large amounts of talent during his early training. It was no surprise that he broke his maiden on his first asking on April 9, 1956.
He won another four times after his debut and quickly became the favorite of his breeder, Ms. Gladys Phipps. Bold Ruler loved her too, acting as calmly and gentle as he could whenever the small and stylish woman paid him a visit or grabbed him up to walk him. Bold Ruler tasted defeat for the very first time in an allowance race. He would go on to win the Belmont Futurity, Juvenile Stakes, and Youthful Stakes.