The Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3)
1 & 1/8 Miles on Synthetic for Three-Year-Olds
Race 10-Turfway Park
Post Time: 3:00 PST
Analysis by Michael Patricks
This week’s installment is dedicated to my good friend who passed away last weekend, Bob Gummerson. Bob was the longtime tote technician here at the Jockey Club in Santa Rosa and a recognizable face who had been in my life since I was a young man trying to sneak my way into this facility. Bob was a friend at the track to my father and subsequently became a good friend as we developed a kindred bond after my father’s passing in 1997. We worked together for three years here and enjoyed many thought-provoking discussions about life inside and outside the racetrack. Bob had my longtime position as Daily Racing Seminar host for live racing here in Santa Rosa for many years and even wrote his own software algorithm to try and beat the races.
Bob graduated from Cloverdale High School in 1973 and played on tremendously successful basketball teams for the Eagles of which the names of those players still hang from the banners in their gymnasium today. He was a track and field star and loved throwing the shot put dearly. Ironically, one of Bob’s favorite quotes was: “People have such nice things said about them at their funerals. I’m sorry that I’m going to miss mine by a few days.” At this point in time, Bob’s family members are still in their planning stages for remembering him. As soon as further details come to light, I’ll relay them to all that follow this thread. I know of many people who would like to pay their respects to a great man, friend, and lover of the Sport of Kings. Bob may be gone, but his legacy and indelible imprint in our hearts will live on.
Enjoyed my first trip to Turf Paradise this past week amidst a cavalcade of Spring Training games. Unfortunately, I endured a better than 11-hour trip home which included buses, planes, (nearly trains) automobiles and plenty of on-foot travel. Therefore, please excusive the brevity of this weekend’s analysis (Although, some of you may be grateful for this weekend’s Readers’ Digest version.). Let’s take a look at the Jeff Ruby Steaks from Turfway Park (formerly the TwinSpires Spiral).
The Jeff Ruby has drawn a field of 12 and somewhat-bizarrely features co-morning line favorites of # 7 Hazit and # 11 Ride a Comet, each installed at 5/1. Behind that is a morass of 6/1 shots including # 3 Archaggelos, # 4 Pony Up, # 6 Mugaritz (No. Cal native) and # 8 Blended Citizen (So. Cal based). To say this is an unorthodox morning line would be an understatement. I can’t recall the last time I saw a breakdown on paper such as this. In fact it certainly even borders on taboo to do it this way, even if the points add up.
Turfway Park historically plays to off-the-pace types and horses who can make the last run over synthetic. With that in mind, I want a horse who is going to be bringing the thunder in the lane. I’ll make # 2 Cash Call Kitten my selection at 12/1. He was risked for a modest $20,000 in his debut and got the job done in impressive fashion from a very wide draw. The same could be said for his first try against winners in the Sage of Monticello, pulling away to a daylight score while defeating 10 rivals. The Beyers are a touch light but he should take well to the surface switch from turf to synthetic and his trainer has sleighed this race before. Fast and Accurate was relatively unheralded before using the Sage of Monticello as a springboard for Maker in taking down this race last year. Who was he ridden by? You guessed it– Saturday’s pilot, Tyler Gaffalione.
# 4 Pony Up is my second choice at 6/1. Pony Up chased Audible around the track at Gulfstream Park in the Holy Bull but now shifts surfaces over to synthetic for trainer Todd Pletcher after showing strong turf form. He came home with Flameaway two back on grass and that makes him a player on Saturday.
# 11 Ride a Comet is my third selection at 5/1. The son of Candy Ride has done good work in the Bayou on the sod and his transition to synthetic should fit like hand in glove for trainer Mark Casse.
# 8 Blended Citizen at 6/1 has lacked the turn of foot needed to close escrow in many of his past starts. Perhaps the Blinkers will shake him up a bit.
I’ve decided to take a stand against all the local horses coming out of the Battaglia as I find their form indistinguishable from one another.
Selections: 2-4-11-8 for me in the Jeff Ruby Steaks.