BALTIMORE, MD – Trainer Kellyn Gorder’s Red Ruby returned to the winner’s circle in fine fashion Friday, reigning victorious in the Grade 2, $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Breaking from post 4 under Paco Lopez, Red Ruby stalked to the outside of early leader Coach Rocks through opening splits of :23.28, :47.95, and 1:12.78. Making her bid in the far turn, Red Ruby continued to float outward some in the upper stretch but still had more than enough to take command. Clearing away with a furlong remaining, the Kellyn Gorder trainee crossed first by 4 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:50.17 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the sloppy (sealed) main track.
“They told me to come from a little behind, not too close, but she broke very good,” Lopez said. “I put her second and she was very comfortable. I waited for her until the 3/8. I looked and no one was coming. I said, ‘I got to go,’ and she finished very well today.”
Coach Rocks stayed on well enough to keep second away from Indy Union, the third-place filly that finished 5 lengths farther back. Sara Street‘s slight favoritism was no match for the rainy weather and she had to settle for fourth, a nose past Goodonehoney. In sixth came Stakes On a Plane, with Tell Your Mama in seventh, Mihrab eighth, and C. S. Incharge stopping in the far turn and being eased off under her own power to complete the order of finish. Midnight Disguise, the 4-1 morning line favorite, was scratched.
Red Ruby’s win was her second in 2018, both stakes scores, and came on the heels of a troubled fourth-place effort in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes last out. The 3-year-old daughter of Tiznow has now earned $283,000 in her young career to go along with an overall record of 5-3-1-0. She is co-owned by Brandi Nicholson, Steven Nicholson, and her breeder, Sandra Sexton.
“We knew she liked the off going,” Gorder said. “In the Honeybee, she got really hot in the post parade, so I trained her this morning. That’s just about the only thing I did different. Normally, I don’t do that; it depends on the horse. I just took her out there and jogged her right off the straight the right way and let her slow gallop around the backside and the turn and let her go through her gears, up to third gear, and shut her down. I think that might have helped her. She was really good in the paddock. She was kind of pushing the pony around and was a little nervous, but then she would walk a little while and settle.”
Red Ruby returned $7.80 to win, $4 to place, and $3.20 to show. Coach Rocks brought back $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show, while Indy Union paid $4.60 to show.