Jeff Ruby Steaks 2021 Entries: Tarantino opens as favorite

Mark Casse sends Gretzky the Great out for the Jeff Ruby
Mark Casse sends Gretzky the Great out for the Jeff Ruby

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The 2021 Jeff Ruby Steaks is the first edition of the race to offer to 100 Kentucky Derby qualification points meaning the winner - and indeed the second place finisher - should have every chance to earn their spot in the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.

Our editor takes a quick look at the field after the Post Position draw this lunchtime as 12 horses have been drawn into the field

Jeff Ruby Steaks 2021 Entries & Post Positions
  • Post Position
  • Horse
  • Morning Line Odds

Post Position

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12.

Horse

  • Like The King
  • Hush of a Storm
  • King's Ovation
  • Awesome Gerry
  • Sainthood
  • Smiley Sobotka
  • Tarantino
  • Moonlite Strike
  • Hard Rye Guy
  • Gretzky the Great
  • Dyn O Mite
  • Hockey Dad

Morning Line Odds

  • 6-1
  • 4-1
  • 15-1
  • 20-1
  • 12-1
  • 15-1
  • 3-1
  • 12-1
  • 10-1
  • 5-1
  • 15-1
  • 10-1

The Florida Derby may well have far more eyes on it than the Jeff Ruby at Turfway Park on Saturday but they both offer up exactly the same amount of points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. None of the big names that are currently knocking around on the Derby markets are set to take to the Tapeta but that doesn't mean that it isn't an interesting race.

12 have been drawn into the field with Tarantino installed as the Morning Line favorite opening up at 3-1 odds. Having scored points at Gulfstream in the Holy Bull - where he finished runner-up to Greatest Honour - and a fourth place finish in the Fountain of Youth, his connections have decided to leave the Florida Road to get the points needed to make it into the Kentucky Derby field. It is no surprise that his arrival into this race has been met with such short odds from the Turfway Park linemaker.

Gretzky the Great shipped down from Woodbine having won three races on the trot in 2020 up at Canada's top track. The last of which was the Grade I Summer Stakes. It presented an interesting quandary for trainer Mark Casse - he could've stayed north of the border and potentially been a superstar or come down to the States to take on some bigger races. A sixth place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf led to a swing to Turfway where he finished third in the John Battaglia. Whether he has any Derby ambitions is still very much in doubt considering his turf record but a win here gets him into the field - should his connections decide to roll the dice.

In the aforementioned John Battaglia it was Hush of a Storm who rallied for the victory. A three-time winner on the Tapeta - the three-year-old will probably go off as the favorite unless Gretzky the Great sees a tonne of money. I like his stamina and you have to think winning on this surface at this track is one of the more specialist combinations of surface/track out there. It is in large part one of the key reasons I think he's the horse to beat here. Three wins at Turfway all at a mile or longer. Can't argue with that. He's likely to provide the biggest test for Tarantino.

Wesley Ward sends out Like The King who finished second at the John Battaglia. What I like about this horse is that pedigree. The son of Palace Malice has a nice looking line through the male part of his bloodline. Not one to overlook.

I find it tough to believe any entries for the Jeff Ruby will be anywhere near the pointy end of the Kentucky Derby but one or two horses well earn enough qualifying points to make it into the starting gate and it really looks like Tarintino's connections have Derby aspirations.

Our in-house handicapper will preview the race later in the week and our turf-man will provide in his in-depth horse-by-horse analysis of the race as well so we have your Jeff Ruby Steaks needs covered right here on HorseRacing.net

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