Pick 3 for Turfway March 25, including Jeff Ruby Steaks

March 23rd, 2023

The $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) and $300,000 Bourbonette Oaks — a pair of Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep races — highlight Saturday’s 13-race card at Turfway Park.

Below we provide a Pick 3 ticket covering the aforementioned stakes along with the $300,000 Kentucky Cup Classic in Race 10.

  • 50-cent Pick 3: 5, 8, 10 with 2, 5 with 1, 4, 8 ($9)

Race 10: TwinSpires Kentucky Cup Classic, 1 1/8 miles on All-Weather, four-year-olds and up

Multiple Grade 1 winner #9 Santin (3-1) was named a slight morning line favorite over defending Kentucky Cup Classic champ #10 King Cause (7-2), but the Brendan Walsh pupil is vulnerable in his first attempt on All-Weather. Santin was last seen finishing 3 1/2 lengths in fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Seabiscuit (G2) on Del Mar’s turf in November and will make his five-year-old debut at Turfway off a nearly two-month layoff. The son of Distorted Humor will also get a rider switch to Adam Beschizza, an 8% winner in his last 240 route races.

We’ll stand against the favorite and back King Cause, who drops in class here after coming home 2 3/4 lengths in sixth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) while posting a 99 Brisnet Speed rating at today’s distance. Three back, he won at nine furlongs in the Knickerbocker (G3) at Aqueduct, and he owns a 2-1-1-0 record at Turfway. He’ll also pick up hot jockey Gerardo Corrales (20% winner this meet), who is 2-for-4 paired with trainer Mike Maker over the last 14 days.

For the opening leg of the Pick 3, we’ll also add #5 Wolfie’s Dynaghost (6-1), a Ghostzapper five-year-old who flashed a 101 BRIS figure when winning a one-mile and 70-yard handicap at Gulfstream Jan. 28 in his first start for trainer Jonathan Thomas. American Pharoah six-year-old #8 Ocean Atlantique (6-1) is also a viable contender for Maker’s barn. The gelding wired the Dust Commander S. at Turfway on Feb. 18 and is 2-for-3 at today’s track.

Race 11: Bourbonette Oaks, 1 1/16 miles on All-Weather, three-year-old fillies

#5 Botanical (2-1) has been dominant on All-Weather since making the surface switch, with three straight victories at Turfway by a combined 21 lengths. All of those wins came at a mile, and Botanical has raced at 8 1/2 furlongs just once, finishing three-quarters of a length in second in a maiden special weight on Keeneland’s turf.

We’ll back the Medaglia d’Oro filly in her stretch back out in distance. Conditioner Brad Cox is a 26% winner this meet and a 29% winner with horses that won their last race, while regular rider Chris Landeros has won 27% of his races paired with Cox over the last two months.

We’ll also include wild-card #2 Bolivie (5-1), who makes her first U.S. start for trainer Brendan Walsh, who has posted a 6-2-2-1 record over the last 14 days and strikes at an 18% rate in non-graded stakes. Bolivie most recently finished second in the Prix de la Californie, coming home 1 3/4 lengths behind Brave Emperor, a gelding who backed up his victory with a triumph in the Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions S. on March 15. Irad Ortiz Jr., a 29% winner with routes, will guide the chestnut filly.

Race 12: Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), 1 1/8 miles on All-Weather, three-year-olds

#1 Major Dude (5-2) is a multiple graded stakes winner on turf for trainer Todd Pletcher, winning the Pilgrim (G2) and Kitten's Joy (G3), both at 1 1/16 miles. The son of leading freshman sire Bolt d'Oro will stretch out to nine furlongs for the first time; he posted a 99 Late Pace rating last out when rallying to win the Kitten's Joy, indicating he has the late kick to excel at longer distances.

Second on the morning line is Street Sense (G3) hero #10 Two Phil's (7-2), who's a solid runner from the barn of Larry Rivelli, but the Hard Spun colt was beaten in the stretch in his last two at 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

We'll instead add #4 Funtastic Again (6-1), who wired his last two victories at a mile at Turfway, his first two career starts on synthetic for leading Turfway trainer Wesley Ward (37% winner this meet). The pacesetter will have Gerardo Corrales in the saddle.

#8 Congruent (5-1) also has a chance for Antonio Sano. The Tapit gray got up late in the 1 1/16-mile John Battaglia Memorial S., beating today's race rival #2 Scoobie Quando (15-1) by 3 1/2 lengths. He'll have pace to chase here and could get a similar trip in his stretch-out to nine furlongs.