Meet the Contenders: 2024 Jeff Ruby Steaks

March 20th, 2024

Meet the horses running in the 2024 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 5 represents opportunity to perform well. Be sure to follow these contenders by adding them to your Stable Alerts.

Freedom Principle (Photo by Coglianes Photography / Credit to Lauren Photography)

#1 Freedom Principle         ****

Pro: Stakes winner over Tapeta at Gulfstream in November; best to ignore interim turf losses.

Con: Inside trips did him little good in either of his last two.

Dancing Groom (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

#2 Dancing Groom             **

Pro: Gets some modest class relief and picks up world-class Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

Con: Not a serious factor in any earlier Derby prep and new surface a question.


Lucky Jeremy (Photo by Coady Photography)

#3 Lucky Jeremy                **

Pro: Form has been consistent throughout and connections having a solid winter here.

Con: Nine furlongs might be a stretch for him, given his running style.

Noted (Photo by Equi-Photo)

#4 Noted                           ***

Pro: Stakes winner on dirt and turf, probably can handle Tapeta too.

Con: Two of his last three races have been clunkers; recent inconsistency a problem.

Agate Road (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

#5 Agate Road                   ****

Pro: Consistent turf form suggests he should be at home on this surface.

Con: Speed figures don’t stand out and likely to be well backed.

Northern Flame (Photo by Coady Photography)

#6 Northern Flame            ***

Pro: Third in Rebel (G2) easily his best stakes attempt in three tries.

Con: Stamina will be tested if part of the early pace again.

Woodcourt (Photo by Coady Photography)

#7 Woodcourt                   **

Pro: Well experienced colt won his last start here, albeit running for a tag.

Con: Likely needs a strong pace and that’s no guarantee in this field.

Otello wins the Mucho Macho Man (Photo by Coglianese Photography / Credit to Lauren King)

#8 Otello                           ***

Pro: Rough start, slow pace hurt him in Holy Bull (G3); capable of better.

Con: Given first two starts, might prefer one turn more than two.

Seize the Grey (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

#9 Seize the Grey               **

Pro: Exits Oaklawn allowance win; might bloom late like his sire.

Con: Like others, hard to know how he’ll handle switch to synthetic surface.

Endlessly (Photo by Benoit Photography)

#10 Endlessly                      *****

Pro: Enters with 4-for-5 record, including nice win in El Camino Real Derby.

Con: Wasn’t facing much at Golden Gate; sterner class test here.

Baytown Chatterbox (Photo by Coady Photography)

#11 Baytown Chatterbox     *

Pro: Huge-price winner of Ellis Park Juvenile, albeit going short.

Con: Speed figures vastly inferior; would be a shock.

West Saratoga (Photo by Coady Photography)

#12 West Saratoga              **

Pro: Upset first Road to the Kentucky Derby series prep, though winless since.

Con: Exits slow preps at Tampa; hasn’t taken that step forward at three yet.

Turfway Park Racing (Coady Photo/Turfway Park)

#13 Circle P                         **

Pro: Running style suggests extra distance around two turns might agree with him.

Con: Has been facing softer in Maryland; tested for class.

Triple Espresso (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

#14 Triple Espresso              ***

Pro: Didn’t get the best of trips in stakes debut last time; remains with upside.

Con: AE here but in main body of Louisiana Derby (G2) field on Saturday.