- Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park is the only major Kentucky Derby prep race not run on dirt
- Tiz the Bomb is the favorite, but may not be a contender for the Run for the Roses
- What are the best betting options Saturday in the Cincinnati suburbs?
Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris are the steakhouses of choice for many red meat enthusiasts. However, in the Ohio Valley Jeff Ruby is king. If the high-end restaurant is going to sponsor a horse race, obviously it should be the Jeff Ruby Steaks. Saturday, the event at Turfway Park outside Cincinnati has attracted a full field of Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
You won’t find many horses from the Jeff Ruby in the latest Kentucky Derby odds. That’s because the Run for the Roses is on a dirt track, while Turfway uses a synthetic surface. That could provide some futures value if you can find a versatile equine that is strong regardless of the footing.
Coming off of a win at Turfway, Tiz the Bomb is the favorite. Let’s look carefully at top contenders and consider where a bet should be considered.
2022 Jeff Ruby Steaks Odds
|Tiz the Bomb||+200|
Odds as of March 31
Some race tracks are steep with tradition, pomp, and married to a certain way that things are done. Turfway Park is not one of those. In Florence, Kentucky, the Jeff Ruby Steaks has been run since 1972 and been called the Jim Beam Stakes, Galleryfurniture.com Stakes, Lane’s End Stakes, and on several occasions when no corporate sponsor was available, the Spiral Stakes.
The event is a-mile-and-an-eighth and has twice produced Kentucky Derby winners, Lil E. Tee (1992) and Animal Kingdom (2011). Both of those horses won the event when the track was a traditional dirt surface. The winner this year receives 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The runner-up gets 40 points, with the third-place finisher awarded 20 points, and 10 go to the horse who is fourth.
With a big field, it is really helpful to understand horse racing bet types. Post time is scheduled for 6:23 pm ET. CNBC has television coverage. Temperatures are expected to be in the low ’50’s with no rain.
Is this a John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Rematch?
On February 5 at Turfway Park Tiz the Bomb raced by Stolen Base in the final strides of the mile-and-a-sixteenth John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. They are the two favorites on Saturday.
Tiz the Bomb has two wins in three starts on turf, and is one-for-one on synthetic, but has not been nearly as good on dirt. A second straight try on the Turfway synthetic should be a good fit. However, he and Stolen Base prefer to come off the pace. Is there heat upfront to set them up? Stolen Base has just one win in seven starts, and tends to find himself with a lot of ground to make up. Could the extra distance benefit him?
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Are There Good Upset Contenders?
The favorite has won this race just once in the last 10 runnings, and several big prices have come in.
Tawny Port could be a horse for the course. Trained by Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox, he won twice at Turfway before finishing fifth against high-end Kentucky Derby contenders in February at Fair Grounds.
We know Tawny Port likes the surface, and he was far from embarrassed against better competition last time out.
Todd Pletcher’s Royal Spirit has just one win but was close last time out in a graded stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Typically grass horses do well on synthetic, and Royal Spirit is an expensive son of Into Mischief who has only run on the sod thus far.
I Thought Bob Baffert Wasn’t Eligible for the Kentucky Derby?
The only trainer in four decades to win the Triple Crown, Bob Baffert is currently suspended from Churchill Downs. While a lot of politics and legalese are playing out, his Derby contenders have shifted barns in order to be eligible to earn Derby qualifying points.
Rodolphe Brisset has picked up Blackadder from Baffert. He won his synthetic debut in February at Golden Gate Fields.
With two wins in four starts, he wouldn’t be considered one of Baffert’s top-tier contenders. That said, we know he likes synthetic, and the El Camino Real Derby produced last year’s Preakness winner Rombauer.
Brisset also trains Great Escape. He took a leap in his 2022 debut, finishing second in an optional claiming event at Oaklawn Park. This is his first race on a synthetic surface.
Jeff Ruby Steaks Best Bet
This is not the A-list of Derby contenders, and the field looks competitive. The two favorites both need pace, and not a ton of early speed is signed up. Nobody spots their horses better than Pletcher, and Royal Spirit should be forwardly placed. He can steal the race on the front end.
Pick: Royal Spirit (+1000)
The post Jeff Ruby Steaks Odds & Picks: Tiz the Bomb & Stolen Base Favored at Turfway Park appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.