By: Peter Monaco
The Grade 3, $200,000 2019 Jeff Ruby Steaks (not a typo) will be run at Turfway Park on Saturday, March 9. The 1 1/8 mile event will offer points towards the Kentucky Derby on a 20-8-4-2 basis to the top four finishers.
It’ll be run as race 11 on the card and post time is 6:37 ET
Let’s meet the field of the 2019 Jeff Ruby Steaks:
1) DYNAMIC RACER 12/1 Trainer: Ronald Kahles Jockey: Euclyn Prentice Starts: 6: 2-2-0 Earnings: $40,049
Ran a decent second on Feb. 15 in the Battaglia Memorial to Somelikeithotbrown, who is the favorite today. Took an optional claiming race in Jan. where he was all out and held on by a neck. Not sure he can make up those 3 1/2 lengths on the favorite but both those good efforts were over this track and he seems to be in good shape. With a good rail trip he should outrun his odds. Iffy.
2) MOONSTAR 20/1 Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: John McKee Starts: 7: 1-0-1 Earnings: $41,749
This is an easy read and I will simplify. This fellow has been beaten a combined 69 lengths in his last 5 races at 4 different tracks and his only win happened last Sep. Easy toss.
3) FIVE STAR GENERAL 6/1 Trainer: Arnaud Delacour Jockey: Declan Cannon Starts: 4: 2-0-0 Earnings: $82,050
Has never run on synthetic or turf but his two wins did come in races that were washed off the grass at Aqueduct and Laurel. Ran a distant sixth in the Sam F. Davis, some 16 lengths behind the winner. But he was bumped soundly at the start in that race and was squeezed and checked on the far turn. I believe he’s much better than that race and might work out a good trip here. Contender.
4) DABO 10/1 Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: Luan Machado Starts: 4: 1-0-1 Earnings: $37,296
Last seen when he was a fast closing third in the Battaglia Memorial on Feb. 15. He was beaten 4 1/4 lengths in that race but closed well with a wide rally. He does own a win on the synthetic but not much else to get excited about. Passing.
5) Baytown Jimbo 20-1 Trainer: Paul McEntee Jockey: Alexis Achard
Went out a loser at the end of his 2-yr.-old season, finishing a distant sixth in The Display Stakes at Woodbine. He was bumped at the start in that race and had a good effort on the poly-track in his previous start. However, the speed he showed in the early part of 2018 has been absent in his last three races and he hasn’t won since September. Passing.
6) SKYWIRE 3/1 Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Gary Boulanger Starts: 2: 2-0-0 Earnings: $59,281
Undefeated colt owns a six-length win at Gulfstream Park and a maiden breaking score on the synthetic at Woodbine. In his Gulfstream race, he hit the gate at the start and then shied out in the stretch and still won by 6. All things point to a good effort and there’s a lot to like. Top Contender.
7) COUNTER OFFER 10/1 Trainer: Ian Wilkes Jockey: Malcolm Franklin Starts: 7: 1-1-0 Earnings: $64,689
His lone win came on the turf in Oct, where he was all out to just get up by a neck against a suspect field. Ran 4th in the Sam F. Davis but was 14 lengths back. He’s never raced on synthetic and his one win out of seven attempts is concerning. Passing.
8) TWELFTHOFNEVERLAND 10/1 Trainer: Raymond Handal Jockey: Sheldon Russell Starts: 7: 2-1-0 Earnings: $82,874
This fellow is a nose away from three wins in a row at Aqueduct but he’s never ran on synthetic and never hit the board in a turf race. Still, he does seem to want to be around the wire lately and although I don’t think he can win, he can grab a small share with his best effort.
9) CURLIN GRAY 10/1 Trainer: Kenny McPeek Jockey: Brian Hernandez Starts: 7: 1-1-1 Earnings: $42,174
Finished a respectable third to Global Campaign in an optional claimer, although he was 4 1/2 lengths back from the winner. The previous race he won a maiden claiming ev ent by 4 3/4 lengths. This fellow has a nice closing kick and seems to be heading in the right direction. Can pick up a slice if he takes to the rubber. Possible but not probable.
10) SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN 8/5 Trainer: Mike Maker Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione Starts: 6: 2-2-1 Earnings: $246,918
Received the perfect trip in the Battaglia due to his perfect stalking style and drew away as he pleased. In his previous race, he ran a good third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and has put in mostly honest efforts before. Dangerous.
11) SPEED APPS 20/1 Trainer: D. Wayne Lucas Jockey: Walter De La Cruz Starts: 7-0-1-1 Earnings: $32,927
Zero for seven colt is hoping the rest of the field falls down as the closest he’s ever been to a winner is 3 1/4 lengths. Easy toss.
#6 SKYWIRE 3/1 Proven on poly and undefeated
#10 SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN 8/5 The perfect stalker
#3 FIVE STAR GENERAL 6/1 Can work out a good trip
#9 CURLIN GRAY 10/1 Closes like a train
#1 DYNAMIC RACER 12/1 Likes this track