An overflow field is expected to enter the 47th running of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), Turfway Park's Kentucky Derby points race that runs this Saturday, March 17. Entries will be drawn Wednesday, March 14.
Heading the list of probables is Archaggelos, who won the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine in impressively professional fashion in just his third career start. Racing about seven lengths off the leader down the backstretch, jockey Rafael Hernandez sent Archaggelos not to the outside to make his bid on the turn but to the inside, and the Temple City colt responded by boldly splitting horses when a narrow gap opened up entering the stretch. He was fourth in his next outing, the Display Stakes at Woodbine December 2. The Jeff Ruby Steaks would be the first start of his sophomore season.
Archaggelos shipped in to Turfway last Tuesday and put in his final breeze Saturday, clocking six furlongs in 1:13.40 over the Polytrack.
Magicalmeister broke his maiden at Mahoning Valley January 9, obliterating the field by almost 10 lengths in his career debut. He tried Turfway in his next outing, finishing a well beaten third, but rebounded with a half-length score in Turfway's John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (listed) Feb. 23, the local prep for the Jeff Ruby Steaks. On March 10, the Bodemeister colt put in a four-furlong breeze at Turfway in :49.80 for trainer James Chapman.
“He ran well in the Battaglia—came out of the race really good,” said Chapman, “He worked great the other day, came back from that in fine fashion. That race was his second time routing, so he improved from the race before. With this race being further, he'll probably be laying a little bit closer to the pace, but he can be placed anywhere.
“If he were to win [the Jeff Ruby] lights out, we may consider [the Kentucky Derby],” Chapman continued. “He likes the dirt, but the Lexington or Pat Day Mile might be where we go. There's a lot of money after the Derby is run, so we may let those horses beat each other up a little. We'll do whatever is best for the horse.”
Racing wide in the Battaglia, Magicalmeister dug in late to hold off the fast-closing Sky Promise, who also is expected for the Jeff Ruby for trainer Kenny McPeek.
“He ran real good last time out,” said McPeek. “The added distance of this race will help. He's been begging for more ground. He seems to run best from the back of the pack. This is a good race for him right now, the timing is perfect. He's coming into it real well.”
Twelve may start in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, with two also-eligibles. Starters are preferred first by graded stakes wins, then stakes wins and finally by highest career earnings. Probables are listed below in order of preference; in addition, two others remain under consideration: Dallas Stewart-trainee Givemeaminit, who would make the field by earnings, and Colour Guard for Dane Kobiskie.
|Cash Call Kitten||Michael Maker|
|Hollywood Star||Dale Romans|
|Sky Promise||Kenneth McPeek|
|Pony Up||Todd Pletcher|
|Blended Citizen||Doug O'Neill|
|Dreamer's Point||Ian Wilkes|
|Believe in Royalty||Larry Jones|
|Ride a Comet||Mark Casse|
The Jeff Ruby Steaks is supported by four undercard stakes: the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) for 3-year-old fillies, a Kentucky Oaks points race; the Kentucky Cup Classic for older horses, the Latonia Stakes for older fillies and mares, and the Rushaway Stakes for 3-year-olds. The first of 12 races on Saturday's card is set for 1:10 p.m. The five stakes will run consecutively, starting with the Latonia Stakes at 3:33 p.m. and ending with the Jeff Ruby Steaks at 6 p.m.
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