Bold Ruler was an American Thoroughbred Hall of Fame racehorse bred by the Wheatley Stable of Gladys Mills Phipps. Bold Ruler was foaled at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky to Nasrullah and Miss Disco by Discovery. He was trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons and regularly ridden by Eddie Arcaro.
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, Bold Ruler went off as the heavy 6:5 favorite in the Kentucky Derby, but faded down the homestretch after fighting Arcaro's restraint. He finished 4th 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 convincingly. In the Belmont Stakes, Bold Ruler finished 3rd 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. He went on to win other important races and his performances that year earned him the Eclipse Award as 1957 Champion 3-Year-Old, Champion Sprinter, and Horse of the Year honors.
A Champion Sire
After a short campaign at age four, Bold Ruler retired to stud at Claiborne Farm where he sired eleven champions including Hall of Famers Gamely and Secretariat. 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. 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.
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.