2023 Jeff Ruby Steaks Recap

Two Phil’s handled the switch from dirt to synthetic footing in style at Turfway Park, racing away with the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) March 25.

Starting second favorite after minor placings in two Derby prep races at Fair Grounds, Two Phil’s settled midfield for jockey Jareth Loveberry. He began to make his challenge around the final bend and had way too many guns in the stretch, shooting clear to win by 5 1/4 lengths.

It earned him 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby table, taking him to 123 points overall to lead the series at the end of March, and ensuring he gets a start at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.

Favorite Major Dude was close to the speed but couldn’t go with Two Phil’s in the stretch. He was nonetheless a clear second, earning 40 points on the Derby Road, putting him close to earning a start.

Pacesetting Funtastic Again finished third, earning 30 points, with Wadsworth (20 points) and Maker’s Candy (10 points) rounding out the top five. All three had not earned Derby Road points previously and will probably need withdrawals or to earn further points to have a chance of a Kentucky Derby start.

By Alastair Bull

Jeff Ruby Steaks Previews:

Rogers and Kerstein: Inside the Kentucky Derby Podcast: Massive Championship Series Stakes Race Previews

Kerstein: Major Dude favored in 12-horse Jeff Ruby Steaks; Botanical tops 11 fillies in Bourbonette Oaks

Johnson: Study Guide: Jeff Ruby Steaks