FLORENCE, KY – Nobody’s perfect, and nothing resembled that sentiment better than Somelikeithotbrown, who zigged and zagged in the stretch but still pulled off the big score in Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park.
Breaking from post 10 as the heavy 3/5 favorite under Tyler Gaffalione, Somelikeithotbrown broke sharply and raced two-wide heading into the first turn. Running along his inside, Five Star General initially led through the opening 1/4-mile in :23.61, but the bettors’ choice soon took over and posted following fractions of :47.03 and 1:10.78. Holding a growing advantage as he hit the top of the stretch, Somelikeithotbrown drifted in and out multiple times down the lane, but he proved to be too fast and too classy to catch. The Mike Maker trainee crossed with a 3 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:52.05 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast all weather track.
“The plan really wasn’t to go to the lead today,” Gaffalione said. “He broke so sharp, into the first turn, I didn’t want to get in a fighting match with him, so I put my hands down and tried to get him to relax. Down the lane, he was kind of waiting on horses, kind of looking around, but he did everything easy. He’s a very nice horse, very talented. Mike and his team did a great job with him. He was all by himself, and every time I showed him the whip, he’d go one way. He was just acting bored.”
Though no match for the winner, a pair of longshots in Dynamic Racer and Moonster took second and third, respectively. Five Star General faded to fourth ahead of Dabo, while Speed App headed Counter Offer and Skywire for sixth. Curlin Grey, Twelfthofneverland, and Baytown Jimbo completed the order of finish.
The Jeff Ruby Steaks is part of the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Somelikeithotbrown earned 20 points for the win, with Dynamic Racer receiving 8 for second, Moonster 4 for third, and Five Star General 2 for fourth.
Somelikeithotbrown’s win was his second of his 3-year-old season and second straight at Turfway Park, having taken the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes here on February 15. The 3-year-old son of Big Brown, out of the Tapit mare Marilyn Monroan, now sports a record of 7-3-2-1 with $363,478 earned and is pointing next to the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland on April 6.
“The pace was honest, but it looked like he was doing it pretty handily,” Maker said. “He put the horse away that was contesting the lead with him down the lane. Tyler said he was ducking from the whip a little bit, but he had a lot of horse left.”
Somelikeithotbrown returned $3.20 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. Dynamic Racer brought back $20.20 to place and $11.80 to show, while Moonster paid $13.40 to show.