Kentucky Derby trail: Favorite Somelikeithotbrown wins Ruby

March 09, 2019 06:49pm
Kentucky Derby trail: Favorite Somelikeithotbrown wins Ruby
Photo: Casey Laughter/HRN
Somelikeithotbrown lived up to his favoritism Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks, meaning the 2019 Kentucky Derby could carry some distinct home state flavor.

Named after a combination of the popular Kentucky dish and sire Big Brown, the Mike Maker-trained colt pressed the early pace, took over through a half mile in 47.03 seconds and never quite looked back, picking up 20 points toward qualifying for the Derby.

The Jeff Ruby, formerly known as the Spiral Stakes, runs over Polytrack at Turfway Park. Given its diminished points value, the race moved back on the calendar this season. Maker said connections will "look at" Keeneland's April 6 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) as a final prep.

Dynamic Racer, second to Somelikeithotbrown in the local Ruby prep, the Battaglia Memorial, was a runner-up again Saturday at 46-1. Moonster ran third and Five Star General fourth in the field of 11.

“The pace was honest but it looked like he was doing it pretty handily, and he put the horse away that was contesting the lead with him down the lane," Maker said. "Tyler said he was ducking from the whip a little bit but he had a lot of horse left."



Somelikeithotbrown finished nine furlongs in 1:52.05 under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who also won this race in 2017 with Fast and Accurate. This victory required some late work, with Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable's Somelikeithotbrown moving out a bit in the stretch.

Eventually, Somelikeithotbrown straightened up and continued on to be clear a couple lengths at the wire.

"Down the lane, he was kind of waiting on horses, kind of looking around, but he did everything easy," Gaffalione said. "He’s a very nice horse, very talented. Mike 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.”

Somelikeithotbrown colt hasn't finished out of the trifecta in six starts since his debut, a seventh on a sloppy main track at Saratoga. In addition to Turfway's synthetic, the colt did arguably his best running to nearly hold on late in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, beaten just 3/4 of a length that day.

 

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