From the Turfway Park Media Team / Kevin Kerstein:
Spendthrift Farm’s Major Dude, a flashy two-time graded stakes winner, leads a cast of 83 talented 3-year-olds that were nominated to compete in the March 25, $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (Grade III) at Turfway Park.
Nominations for the Jeff Ruby Steaks closed Thursday, along with its five supporting stakes on the spectacular day of racing in Northern Kentucky: the 41st running of the $300,000 Bourbonette Oaks; the 23rdrunning of the $300,000 TwinSpires Kentucky Cup Classic (Listed); the 37th running of the $250,000 Animal Kingdom Stakes; the 41st running of the $250,000 Latonia Stakes; and the 36th running of the $250,000 Rushaway.
The 1 1/8-mile Jeff Ruby Steaks is a major steppingstone on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and helped launch the winner of Kentucky Derby 148, Rich Strike. The Jeff Ruby Steaks will go as the finale on the 12-race card at 6:25 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post will be 12:45 p.m.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Major Dude is expected to invade from South Florida for the Jeff Ruby Stakes. The 3-year-old son of Bolt d’Oro’s resume includes victories in the $200,000 Pilgrim (GII) and $175,000 Kitten’s Joy (GIII). Other talented horses that could be targeting the Jeff Ruby Steaks include Tami Bobo and Lugamo Racing Stable’s $150,000 John Battaglia Memorial winner Congruent; Patricia’s Hope and Phillip Sagan’s Street Sense Stakes (GIII) winner Two Phil’s and Three Chimneys Farm’s $125,000 Leonatus Stakes winner Funtastic Again.
Coupled with its lucrative prize, the Jeff Ruby Steaks will award the top 5 finishers points on a 100-40-30-20-10 scale towards a spot in the starting gate for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).
In the Bourbonette Oaks, LNJ Foxwoods and Clearsky Farms’ $150,000 Cincinnati Trophy heroineBotanical leads 45 nominees for the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series contest. The Brad Cox-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is expected to return in the Bourbonette Oaks in hopes of keeping her Turfway Park unbeaten streak intact.
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is slated to be in action in the TwinSpires Kentucky Cup Classic. The 81-1 upset winner of the “Run for the Roses” was originally targeting an international campaign but his connections have opted to keep him in Kentucky and have stated they are targeting the TwinSpires Kentucky Cup Classic as Rich Strike’s first start as a 4-year-old.
The complete list of nominations can be found here: Turfway Park Stakes Nominations.
For more information about Jeff Ruby Steaks Day and to purchase tickets, visit www.TurfwayPark.com.
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