Jeff Ruby Steaks Betting: Derby Prep Race Preview

Jeff Ruby Steaks Betting: A solid field of 12 3-year-olds, whose connections have their sights set on the first Saturday in May, is expected to head postward in Saturday’s second running of the $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park.

The Kentucky Derby (GI) prep race known previously as the Spiral Stakes, Jim Beam Stakes, Lane’s End Stakes and once the Stakes is a nine-furlong synthetic track event first contested in 1972.

Jeff Ruby Steaks Betting: Road To The Derby Points

The Jeff Ruby Steaks offers Road to the Derby points of 20-8-4-2 to the top-four finishers.

Jeff Ruby’s restaurants/steakhouses, with locations in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, have been a big supporter of horse racing for years and fans can frequently see the eatery’s logo on the pants of many jockeys, including Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Joe Talamo and Drayden Van Dyke, to name a trio. This is the third year Jeff Ruby is the title sponsor of the race.

Jeff Ruby Steaks Betting: Derby Prep Race Preview

Photo courtesy of Ernie Belmonte

This Derby prep is probably best known because of champion Animal Kingdom, who captured the nine-furlong synthetic test as a springboard to wearing the roses in 2011, but that’s not to say some other good horses haven’t emerged victorious as part of their tremendous careers.

Hard Spun, who placed in all three Triple Crown races, won in 2007 and added his name to a list that includes dual classic winners Hansel and Prairie Bayou, and Derby winner Lil E Tee. The Hall of Fame filly Serena’s Song was victorious in 1995, as well.

Blended Citizen upset the field two years ago and then won the Peter Pan (G2) after skipping the Derby and is still racing, having won the Louisiana Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds two months ago.

Last year, Somelikeithotbrown gave trainer Mike Maker his fifth win in the race and was later sidelined for the 2019 after a fourth in the Blue Grass (G2) in early April. Now, he’s back in action at Turfway and most recently won an allowance race last month.
Champion Hansel still owns the stakes record (at the current distance) of 1:46 3/5, though the race has been contested at a mile and 1 1/16 miles in the past.

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day owns the record of most wins (five), having booted home At The Threshold (1984), J.T.’s Pet (1987), Western Playboy (1990), Summer Squall (1991) and Lil E. Tee (1992). The latter was his only Kentucky Derby winner of his 8,404 career victories.

William E. Adams saddled seven winners from 1977 through 1980, including the winners of both divisions in 1977 (Smiley’s Dream and Bob’s Dusty), 1978 (Five Star General and Raymond Earl) and 1980 (Major Run and Spruce Needles). He also saddled Lot o’Gold to win in 1979.

Saturday’s weather in Northern Kentucky is expected cool and wet with rain showers likely and a high hovering near 40. Since the main track is made of Polytrack, the only effect the weather will have will likely be on the patrons should they brave the COVID-19 threat.

Jeff Ruby Steaks Betting: Field of 12

Horse Odds Jockey Trainer Breeding
1. Dack Janiel’s 30/1 R. Bejarano J. Sisterson TonalistTennessee Whiskey, by Smart Strike
2. Toma Todo 20/1 A. Garcia S. Asmussen English Channel—Henna, by Horse Chestnut
3. Fancy Liquor 8/1 F. Geroux M. Maker

Lookin At Lucky—Brandys Secret, by Secret Romeo

4. Unthrottled 30/1 C. Lanerie D. Stewart The Big Beast—Unlimited Pleasure, by Valid Appeal
5. Myamanoi 4/1 K. Carmouche D. Gargan

Temple City—Hunter’s Mark, by Titus Livius

6. Halo Again 8/1 R. Hernandez S. Asmussen

Speightstown—Halo’s Verse, by Unbridled’s Song

7. Victory Boulevard 30/1 G. Corrales M. Maker

Dialed In—Top of the Hill, by Deputy Commander

8. Finnick the Fierce 6/1 S. Leon R. Hernandez

Dialed In—Southern Classic, by Southern Image

9. Austrian 50/1 A. Lezcano J. Fernandez Freud–Bella’s Flair, by Bellamy Road
10. The Stiff 12/1 G. Franco M. McCarthy

Danza—Betterlethergo, by Hold Me Back

11. Invader 3/1 A. Jimenez W. Ward War Front—Say, by Galileo
12. Field Pass 7/2 I. Ortiz Jr. M. Maker

Lemon Drop Kid–Only Me, by Runaway Groom

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Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.