A pair of qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, the $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) and $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks, are among six total stakes on a dynamite 12-race program at Turfway Park Saturday.
After focusing upon the Jeff Ruby in a previous blog, I will give some other plays below:
Excited to Bet — #3 Nun the Less (9-2 morning line), Kentucky Cup Classic (Race 9)
Nun the Less is drawn perfectly for a ground saving stalking trip. A one-length scorer in last year’s edition of the Kentucky Cup Classic, the gelding loves the Polytrack (3-for-3) and will make his third start off the layoff doe Cipriano Contreras (23% win this meet).
An abundance of speed is signed on in the 12-horse field, with Lanier possessing high speed in post 11, front-running Somelikeithotbrown drawn one spot to the inside, and Moon Over Montana likely to send from the middle after a sluggish start last time. Nun the Less enters in good form, posting a convincing win in the 6 1/2-furlong Forego S. over the track this winter, and I expect to see him prove best in the latter stages with Rodney Prescott.
Favorite I’m Against — #3 Made in America (3-1), Race 5
A full field will contest this competitive allowance/optional claimer, and Made in America stretches to two turns off a low-rated maiden win sprinting. The lightly-raced 4-year-old gelding looks vulnerable against tested rivals. I will also try to beat 4-1 second choice Not Very Gentle, leaving both out of multi-race wagers.
Best Longshot — #8 Rumandice (15-1), Latonia S. (Race 7)
After winning a couple of starts in 2019, 4-year-old filly was purchased for $65,000 at Keeneland January sale. She returned off a freshening with a couple of solid late-running efforts over the Polytrack, including a runner-up effort to wire-to-wire winner Rogue Too, and should be poised for best in the third start off the layoff for Kenny McPeek.
Corey Lanerie picks up the mount, and nearly half of the 12-horse field does their best running on the front end. With a hot and contested pace expected, Rumandice looks capable of making a major impact from the off the pace.