Trainer Mike Maker saddled his fifth winner of the G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks this weekend when he sent out Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable's Somelikeithotbrown to a three-length triumph in Turfway Park's signature Kentucky Derby prep race. The 3-year-old son of Big Brown was favored at 3-5, and under Tyler Gaffalione the colt covered nine furlongs over the fast synthetic surface in 1:52.05. Somelikeithotbrown, third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last fall and last-out winner of the Battaglia Memorial, earned his first 20 points toward the first Saturday in May.
“The pace was honest but it looked like he was doing it pretty handily,” said winning trainer Mike Maker, “and he put the horse away that was contesting the lead with him down the lane [Dynamic Racer]. Tyler said he was ducking from the whip a little bit but he had a lot of horse left. With these two races [wins in the Battaglia Memorial and today], we'll look at the Blue Grass [at Keeneland].”
Somelikeithotbrown broke sharply, and was second behind the speedy Five Star General around the clubhouse turn before taking the lead in the backstretch. After fractions of :23.61, :47.03 and 1:10.78, Somelikeithotbrown still had something left in the tank and turned for home with a two-length advantage. Dynamic Racer tried to cut into his lead, but despite some minor start-and-stop antics in the stretch Somelikeithotbrown cruised to a three-length victory. Dynamic Racer had to settle for second, while Moonster and Five Star General completed the top four finishers.
“The plan really wasn't to go to the lead today,” said winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione. “He broke so sharp, into the first turn I didn't want to get in a fighting match with him, so I put my hands down and tried to get him to relax. Down the lane, he was kind of waiting on horses, kind of looking around, but he did everything easy. He's a very nice horse, very talented. Mike [Maker] and his team did a great job with him. He was all by himself and every time I showed him the whip, he'd go one way. He was just acting bored.”
Bred in New York by Hot Pink Stables and co-owner Sand Dollar Stables, Somelikeithotbrown is the second foal out of the placed Tapit mare Marilyn Monroan, from the family of millionaire Stevie Wonderboy. The colt broke his maiden in his second start at Saratoga, then finished second in a pair of graded stakes races on the turf before his third-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He did make his first start on the dirt, finishing seventh in a 5 1/2-furlong race at Saratoga, but hasn't tried the main track since then. Overall, Somelikeithotbrown has won three of his seven starts for earnings of over $360,000.
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