Rating the 2019 Kentucky Derby Prep Races

Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography As we head into the final round of Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, now seems like a good time to look back at the 17 North American prep races already run this year and assign a rating to each one. My ratings—based on a scale of 1 to 5—attempt to blend the apparent strength of each race on paper with its potential [...]

Somelikeithotbrown Wins Again in Jeff Ruby Steaks

Somelikeithotbrown winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks (gr. III) - © Coady Photography/Turfway Park Odds-on favorite Somelikeithotbrown lived up to expectations in Saturday’s $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park, dominating the race on the front end to win in essentially unchallenged fashion. Under the guidance of jockey Tyler Gaffalione, Somelikeithotbrown utilized his excellent tactical speed to battle Five Star General for the early lead, carving out testing fractions of :23.61, :47.03, and 1:10.78 over a Polytrack [...]

An Unusual Betting Strategy for the Jeff Ruby Steaks

Somelikeithotbrown (far right) vying for victory in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Carolyn Simancik/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders' Cup Because it is held over the synthetic Polytrack surface at Turfway Park, the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steakes (gr. III) tends to attract an unusual blend of horses. Synthetic specialists stepping up in class, proven dirt and turf runners trying a different surface, clear-cut Kentucky Derby contenders, and horses who weren’t even nominated to the Triple [...]

Blended Citizen Prevails in Competitive Jeff Ruby Steaks

Blended Citizen winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park - Coady Photography As expected, the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (gr. III) on March 17th at Turfway Park produced a thrilling and competitive finish, with the result remaining in doubt until a few strides before the finish line. However, it remains to be seen how much of an impact the nine-furlong race will have on the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown. Despite being a Road to the [...]

A Couple of Winners to Build Your Bankroll for the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park

On Saturday afternoon Turfway Park presents racing fans with a strong 12-race card headlined by the meet’s premier event, the $200,000 Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Stakes. The mile and an eighth race conducted over the synthetic surface drew a field of 12 three-year-olds set to compete for a total of 34 qualifying points (20 to the winner) on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The Jeff Ruby Stakes offers horseplayers a challenging full field event, but there are also plenty [...]

Turf Horses Could Have an Edge in Jeff Ruby Steaks

Fast and Accurate (inside), winner of the 2017 Jeff Ruby Steaks (then known as the Spiral Stakes), turns in a morning workout - Coady Photography It seems logical that a race held over a synthetic track should favor horses with previous experience over synthetic tracks, right? That might seem like a sound assumption, but it really hasn’t applied to the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park. Although the nine-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep [...]