Handicapping contentious stakes fare on Jeff Ruby Steaks Day

Profile Picture: James Scully

March 17th, 2018

Many tracks won’t offer an All-Stakes Pick 4 or Pick 5 on big racing days but Turfway Park comes through for bettors Saturday with a 12-race program featuring five consecutive stakes and multi-race wagers encompassing the sequence.

The fields are large and contentious and a Kentucky Derby qualifier, the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (IG3), highlights the action.

Here’s my preview:

Latonia, 6th race: No strong opinion in the one-mile event for fillies and mares. #2 Bombshell (8-1 m/l) broke her maiden on a synthetic track and exits a solid effort in the Ladies H. at Aqueduct for Jimmy Jerkens. The 5yo figures to be forwardly-placed from her inside post and rates a slight edge with Alan Garcia. #1 Alpine Sky will be used following a confidence-building win for Mark Casse. Also want to include #4 Proud and Fearless, #5 Susie Bee, #7 Purely a Dream and #8 Sky Flower in multi-race wagers.

Rushaway, 7th race: A mostly lightly-raced cast of a dozen 3yos will square off over 1 1/16 miles. #7 Alternative Route (6-1) posted a sharp maiden score two back and counts Enstone, a multiple stakes winner on Woodbine’s synthetic track, as a full sister. I like the Tiznow colt’s potential on turf/synthetics for Al Stall Jr. #5 Year of Kitten looks intriguing for Mike Maker. #6 Road to Damascus and #9 Honorable Treasure are in play as back-ups.

Kentucky Cup Classic, 8th race: Plenty of pace appears present in the 1 1/8-mile heat and late-running #9 Camelot Kitten (6-1) can return to the winner’s circle in his second start for Maker. #4 Royal Son and #8 Designed for War merit serious respect.

Bourbonette Oaks (G3), 9th race: #2 Consolida (5-1) rallied sharply to capture her U.S. debut, taking the California Oaks on Golden Gate Fields’ Tapeta, and Paddy Gallagher strikes at a 29% clip with runners making their second start off the layoff. With a couple of main rivals stuck in outside posts at the one-mile trip, Consolida rates top billing with Drayden Van Dyke. #1 Classy Music is eligible to outperform her double-digit morning line odds (out of a mare who won this race) and #5 In the Mood can’t be counted out. Stakes winner #10 Bet She Wins and sharp allowance scorer #11 Go Noni Go will be added to a Pick 4 ticket.

Jeff Ruby Steaks, 10th race: Based upon turf efforts, #4 Pony Up (6-1) is the one to beat. A maiden winner last October, the Pletcher pupil followed with a second in the Pulpit and then missed by a diminishing neck to Kentucky Derby contender Flameaway in the January 6 Kitten’s Joy. He didn’t fire when trying the main track in the Holy Bull (G2) but should appreciate the switch to Polytrack. Will also use a pair of California shippers, with #6 Mugaritz eligible to receive a good trip just behind the speed and #8 Blended Citizen rallying late.


The Latonia kicks off the All-Stakes Pick 5. Here is the ticket I will play:

50-cent Pick 5 (6th race): 1,2,4,5,7,8 with 5,7 with 4,8,9 with 2 with 4,6,8 ($54)

The Late Pick 4 starts with the Rushaway. I will take a swing with the following tickets:

50-cent Pick 4 (7th race): 5,6,7,9 with 4,8,9 with 2 with 4,6,8 ($18)

50-cent Pick 4 (7th race): 5,6,7,9 with 4,8,9 with 1,2,5,10,11 with 4 ($30)

Good luck!