Held at Garden State Park on November 9, 1957, the three-horse Trenton Handicap (1 ¼ mi.) field, featuring the 3-year-old colts Bold Ruler, Gallant Man (GB), and Round Table, would go off on paper as one of the more loaded races in modern history.
“This should be the greatest race in twenty years,” said Johnny Nerud, who will hoist Willie Shoemaker onto Gallant Man tomorrow for a romp with Bold Ruler and Round Table in the Trenton Handicap. “The great thing is to be able to run to a decision this late in the year. So many times horses are voted the best on early summer racing. These have run all year and are in condition.” (Red Smith / New York Herald Tribune, 11/08/1957)
The field initially was to also include the 5-year-old Princequillo (IRE) horse Dedicate, winner of the Woodward Stakes (1 ¼ mi.) over Gallant Man and Bold Ruler on September 28 at Belmont Park. When Dedicate suffered a bruised right quarter during a workout at Garden State three days prior to the race and was forced to scratch, Samuel Tufano’s 7-year-old horse Wise Margin (Market Wise) and King Ranch’s 4-year-old colt Beam Rider (Poised) were subsequently entered in the race, only to later be withdrawn “in order to make the Trenton a true test for the 3-year-old title.”
However, once the gates opened, it wasn’t as much of a test as was hoped. Bold Ruler, on the lead at every point of call, took the win over Gallant Man by 2 ¼ lengths, with Round Table well back in third. The final time for the race was 2:01 ⅗, three-fifths of a second off of the track record set by Social Outcast in the 1955 Trenton.
Bold Ruler would go on to be named Champion 3-Year-Old Male of 1957 and share Horse of the Year honors with Dedicate, who himself was also named Champion Handicap Horse.
*Bold Ruler and Dedicate would split Horse of the Year accolades, with the Daily Racing Form and the Turf and Sport Digest giving the nod to Bold Ruler, and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations selecting Dedicate.