top of page

Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Jeff Ruby Steaks Notes

Turfway Park All Weather Surface 9f

Animal Kingdom won the Jeff Ruby Steaks (Spiral Stakes) back in 2011 and went on to win the Kentucky Derby.

Lil E. Tee did the same in 1992. (Jim Beam Stakes)

In 1991, Hansel won the Jeff Ruby and came back to win the Preakness and the Belmont. (Jim Beam Stakes)

Others like Went the Day Well, Hard Spun, Broad Brush, etc. went on to stake claim to their pieces in the Triple Crown races as well. To win the Jeff Ruby Steaks, the colt must be carrying quality stamina for the AWS. That stamina is obviously a major requirement and an asset that they hold to be competitive at the longer distances of the Triple Crown races. That side of the equation would be easily apparent with those exiting this race as a winner.

In order to be successful in the spring and summer at Churchill Downs, Belmont Park and Pimlico, these very colts must have a scale that tips them back to an equal balance with their speed. Some have it, some don't. In order to judge the compatibility moving from Turfway to Churchill, there must be displayed evidence to back it. This will either come from highly successful speedy performances, which is the easy tell, or it will come from a display of short, wicked speed during any works on the Churchill track during Derby week.

You cannot assume that the speed that is present within their configurations is ample enough. To win the Jeff Ruby, the horse would tend to gravitate to his stamina side in order to tackle the AWS in the first place. This prerequisite does not guarantee that the colt would also gravitate to a fast dirt track in the spring. It all boils down to common sense.

When considering the contenders of this year's race, keep in mind the past performances of Animal Kingdom prior to his win in the Spiral and you will see why it is not in your best interest to simply dismiss the new-comers to the Graded scene:

1st race: Maiden - Arlington - AWS 8.5f - came in 2nd.

2nd race: Maiden - Keeneland - AWS 9f - came in 1st

3rd race: Allowance - Gulfstream - Turf 8f - came in 2nd.

4th race: Gr. 3 Spiral (Jeff Ruby) - Turfway - AWS 9f - exploded for 1st

Won the Derby.



DP = 5-7-9-1-0 (22) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.73

Mare Profile = 13-2-4-3-11 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.10 Triads = 19-9-18

Lots of speed from the mares. I will bypass these numbers and simply look at the bulk of his work. It appears that this guy will really like the AWS. He won on dirt, he won on turf - maybe meeting in the middle will level him off. It also appears that Pletcher is taking the "training route" with the placements that he is choosing for this horse. He is bulking this horse's stamina up, and rightfully so. This is something that Pletcher masters. The progression has been successful. Moving down to AWS now is a brilliant move.


DP = 1-0-3-2-0 (6) DI = 0.71 CD = 0.00

Mare Profile = 6-4-6-10-7 Speed = 10 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.73 Triads = 16-20-23

His numbers are sensational but the only way this horse is going to make it is if he doesn't give himself too much ground to make up. If he could run up closer to at least mid-pack, he'll have a shot. Otherwise, he will have to rely on failing leads and alot of retreating horses, which doesn't look promising here. He's got to get closer earlier. His numbers are so nice but the real test would have been a dirt race to see if there is any real speed present to compete in May. The stamina is obvious, the speed is not.


DP = 0-1-2-1-0 (4) DI = 1.00 CD = 0.00

Mare Profile = 5-9-4-10-5 Speed = 14 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.96 Triads = 18-23-19

Did not do well on dirt at a sprinters distance. Did not do well on sloppy dirt in the Rebel. Two times on AWS and he hit first and second at this very track. Based on these configurations, he wouldn't do well at 6f or on a wet surface. His winning AWS maiden comments state, "Won off with ease". He certainly may not be in the high class of the others yet, but as is the case with every colt, an early 3 year old horse has to start somewhere. Now at 9f, with the looks of his magnificent configurations, there is no reason why this guy wouldn't progress off his last race at Turfway, bypassing the dirt race on a sloppy track. The fact that he did not want to run on the mud in his last actually gives him even more promise for here. It means he is following his breeding to a T. These numbers are sensational and if he continues to run to them on Saturday, he has a real shot to at least find that board. Toss the Rebel, he doesn't want or belong on muddy dirt.


DP = 3-4-8-1-0 (16) DI = 2.20 CD = 0.56

Mare Profile = 3-11-1-8-9 Speed = 14 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.67 Triads = 15-20-18

Besides Giant Causeway, More Than Ready is also an excellent source for AWS and this guy has him as his grandsire. Two wins already at the track, going shorter than he would prefer, makes it that much better for the 9f here. Looking a bit further, when adding in his Prominent non-chefs, I like the extra speed thrown in - his Anz number creeps up to a 3.33 which means that if he can cross that finish line first, his numbers do give him an advantage for 10f on dirt in the Kentucky Derby. He's set for both sides.


DP = 3-5-4-0-0 (12) DI = 5.00 CD = 0.92

Mare Profile = 4-7-4-10-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.73 Triads = 15-21-20

Michael Maker has won this race six times since 2006. His entry was the first that I immediately looked at. Son of Twirling Candy who has produced AWS and turf runners. Based on the two wins on the harder track at Aqueduct and based on Maker's strong record in this race, he must truly believe that this surface will be to his liking. His configurations are fairly bleak among this field for AWS - its only 9f so I don't see a problem with the distance, but the 5.00 isn't really ideal. His mares on the other hand are very good. He actually has very nice Derby numbers. A very even distribution on a large scale.


DP = 2-3-10-1-0 (16) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.38

Mare Profile = 6-4-6-6-8 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.79 Triads = 16-16-20

Came in 1st on turf at Gulfstream. Bombed on dirt at Gulfstream. Did well on Churchill dirt going short. Stamina through the roof. A bit too quirky and alittle mixed up with his preferences for this test. Could be the only one on the field that can be tossed.


DP = 5-6-17-0-0 (28) DI = 2.29 CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 3-6-2-10-7 Speed = 9 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.54 Triads = 11-18-19

Very hefty chart who prefers AWS over Turf. Son of English Channel with Giants Causeway. Second off layoff, back on AWS, with added distance. Not sure he has enough to win but he definitely deserves a look. These are Belmont Stakes numbers which means AWS at 9f is just fine. He won't cave easily.


DP = 6-11-14-1-0 (32) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.69

Mare Profile = 8-4-4-4-9 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.92 Triads = 16-12-17

Sonny Leon is a one trick pony type jockey. He will make one late run. Sometimes he gets lucky and sometimes he fails miserably. This guy appears to be the best suited "Tapit Belmont Contender" of all of Tapit's 3 year olds so far. This is why he does well on AWS at these distances. He is built for this race, but so is over half the field.


DP = 1-4-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.60

Mare Profile = 4-9-3-11-5 Speed = 13 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.83 Triads = 16-23-19

Gorgeous Good Magic numbers. This field is loaded with magnificent configurations. Another set of Belmont Stakes numbers which means 9f on AWS is no problem. But there is a problem with the lack of displayed speed in the turf race. Even though he won it, and even though he will probably like the AWS better, he would need a huge jump in the speed department to compete.


DP = 2-7-11-0-0 (20) DI = 2.64 CD = 0.55

Mare Profile = 3-4-8-8-5 Speed = 7 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.69 Triads = 15-20-21

These are Belmont numbers. Again, fine for AWS and he runs like an AWS guy. His sire, Hard Spun, won this race back in 2007. Back then it was called the Lanes End Stakes. Whatever the name, Hard Spun demolished them on AWS. He then went on to post a 2nd in the Kentucky Derby, 3rd in the Preakness, and 4th in the Belmont. If I cave and place a bet, this would be my guy on top.


DP = 5-6-10-1-0 (22) DI = 2.67 CD = 0.68

Mare Profile = 13-2-2-2-13 Speed = 15 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 17-6-17

Won twice on AWS at this track. One of them was by 10 lengths. The added 1/8th is no problem. Another with a fantastic set of characters in his chart but his mares are off. That fact didn't bother him though in those last two races. Class hike here, but again, they have to be entered somewhere to start their careers. This field is packed with proper contenders.


DP = 2-4-10-0-0 (16) DI = 2.20 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 5-3-5-7-8 Speed = 8 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.64 Triads = 13-15-20

First time on AWS for this Gun Runner son. Last two races not so great, but they were down in Florida. Speed generally lacks through descendants of Candy Ride as early 3 year olds and his numbers are not screaming fast track advantage, so I wouldn't hold the loses against him. There is no correlation between dirt in Florida and AWS at Turfway. He's going to run much differently here. Based on his configurations, his run will be highly upgraded.

Advice for the race: Stay as far away from those windows as possible. Wait for a much better race that provides advantage to the gambler. Any one of these horses could explode in this race.


bottom of page