How to bet the 2024 Ruffian Stakes

May 2nd, 2024

Grade 1 winner #1 Randomized will make her four-year-old debut in the $200,000 Ruffian S. (G2) at Aqueduct on Saturday. Trained by Chad Brown, the daughter of Nyquist capped her fine sophomore season with a narrow second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita, and she is the obvious one to beat in the Ruffian.

Randomized is the pace of the race, she has a class edge over many of her foes, and she is 2-for-2 at Aqueduct as well. But going a one-turn mile off the layoff in a race she likely isn’t fully cranked up for makes her vulnerable in my opinion. It’s worth taking a shot elsewhere.

Team Valor International’s #2 Green Up was third behind a pair of fine runners in the deep Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in her 2024 bow and will improve off of that solid showing for trainer Todd Pletcher. The five-year-old capped her 2023 campaign with a sharp 4 1/4-length win in the Pumpkin Pie S. at Aqueduct where she earned a strong 101 Brisnet Speed rating. Green Up has good gate presence and tactical speed, and if someone goes with Randomized early, then Green Up will sit a dream trip tucked in behind the pace to the top of the lane. The Virginia-bred doesn’t show any morning drills since April 19, but I trust this barn and expect a huge run from her nonetheless under Kendrick Carmouche.

#6 Shidabhuti and #5 Ain’t Broke, ran first and second, respectively, in the Distaff (G3) at Aqueduct last time out and each will be in my exotics plays. The former is a Chad Brown trainee who boasts a big turn-of-foot and seems poised to improve in her second run off the bench. The Practical Joke four-year-old sports a nifty 4-3-1-0 local mark and keeps Dylan Davis in the irons.

Ain’t Broke has been in fine form since being claimed for $75,000 in September. The Linda Rice charge has been a dominant winner in both one-mile tries at Aqueduct leading up to this affair, and the Dialed In mare has proven to be a versatile sort as well. Ain't Broke packs a big punch in the stretch and will be dangerous if not left with too much to do turning for home with Eric Cancel in the silks. 

Ruffian wagers

  • $20 win and place #2 Green Up ($40)
  • $5 Trifecta: 2 with 1 with 5,6 ($10)
  • $1 Superfecta: key 2 with 1,5,6 ($6)