Horse Racing

Jeff Ruby Steaks Offers Key Pathway for the Kentucky Derby

One of the fun things about the NCAA’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments is seeing the top performing team from a lesser-known convention play against a team from one of the oldest leagues. than.

By impacting Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on a synthetic surface at Race Park to a major scoring race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in recent years, Churchill Downs offered a bit of a racing version of this type of match. The March 25 Tapeta Footings surface test will score the top five finishers (100-40-30-20-10) and guarantee the winner a spot in the Derby, if connections choose that path.

Are the horses that have shown their talents in the land battle for points at races such as aqueduct, Fair Grounds Racecourse & Slots, Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn ParkAnd Santa Anita . Park, Jeff Ruby provides some of the other talented horses out there with the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1). These are horses that have shown talent on turf and synthetic surfaces, as well as horses wintering in Kentucky at the fast-improvement Turfway meet.

As I’ve written in this column before, I like the idea that horses that show a preference for synthetic or turf surfaces will have a chance to win a Derby qualifying point before deciding. Finally about starting on the dirt road is given. If the affiliates want to take the approach of keeping their pony on grass or synthetics during prep season — as opposed to trying a run in the prep race for points — they have that option.

This will be the approach of the connections of the 2011 Derby winner Animal Kingdom , who had his first match in the Derby. The son of the 2005 horse champion Leroidesanimaux finished first or second in his first three starts before debuting a stake in Spiral Stakes (formerly Jeff Ruby’s name), where he regrouped from seventh and won enough points in the Derby to create a classic match.

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The ties then closely watched a dirt track practice at Churchill Downs a week before the Derby. Like what they saw, they will enter the classic 1/4 mile race where the Animal Kingdom and jockey John Velazquez will win a clear victory after rallying from the 12th.

Scoobie Quando Wins 2023 Turfway Reservations at Turfway Park
Photo: Coady Photography

Scoobie Quando (farmost) stands to win a Turfway Prevue Share at Turfway Park

The relationship of two March 25 runners Jeff Ruby will face a similar decision if they win on Saturday. Scoobie Quando finished first or second in all three of his starts—all at Turfway—including a runner-up finish in the March 4 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. the end of the blue bird have competed on artificial turf or turf, including winning last year’s Gray Stakes (G3) over Tapeta Footings at Honeysuckle.

Two of the more prominent runners in the field Jeff Ruby this year started their careers on dirt before moving onto grass. Major earned his first win at debut in five spans last summer at Monmouth Park, but made the last four starts on the field—catch a graded pair during that period. Coached by Todd Pletcher, Major Dude is the 5-2 morning favorite in field 12 scheduled for Saturday.

Major Dude Wins 2023 Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Nicole Thomas

Major Dude after winning Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Congruent also took his first win on the dirt track—and even won his bets on the main track at laurel park—before moving on to three on-court starts at Gulfstream. He was later transferred to Turfway where ‘s son faucet captured Battaglia in impressive style, leaving 3 1/2 of the way at the end of last year Derby winner Sonny Leon.

In addition to providing a chance to win qualifying points for horses that have demonstrated a preference for turf or synthetic surfaces, Jeff Ruby also provides a path to the Derby for Turfway-based horses. . As purses soar at the Northern Kentucky track, this option has become vital to a metric meetup that will grow in stature in the years to come.

In fact, this path has paid off. Last year while wintering in Turfway, rich attack just won enough points to make it to the Derby qualifying list after fourth in Battaglia and third in Jeff Ruby. When a spot in Derby’s field was opened, he took advantage in a shocking way — scoring the 80-1 winner.


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