Two Phil’s Wins Jeff Ruby Steaks: Two Phil’s gained valuable qualifying points to the 2023 Kentucky Derby by winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks on Saturday at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. The colt out of Hard Spun surged from sixth on the backstretch to emerge victorious by 5 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile race. The win gave Two Phil’s a possible entry to the first major race of the US Triple Crown as he notched 100 points. The horse with a 5-2 odds of winning beat post-time favorite Major Dude (7-5), as jockey Jareth Loveberry guided the three-year-old colt from the middle of the pack to a big surge that secured him the victory in the Grade 3, USD700,000 race that even experts on the US sports picks and parlays were surprised with the outcome.
Two Phil’s Wins Jeff Ruby Steaks: Started From Seventh
Two Phil’s was at the middle of the pack at the start of the race as he was hanging along with the pacesetters until the homestretch when Loveberry made his move, pushing the colt in the crosswind of the second turn. The big-time move allowed Two Phil’s to secure the lead just past the quarter pole. He never relinquished the advantage until he was 5 1/4 lengths ahead on the way to the finish. Two Phil’s finished the race with a time of one minute and 49.03 seconds. Despite lurking in fourth place in most part of the race, Major Dude had enough gas on his tank to finish second and 40 Kentucky Derby points. Funtastic Again failed to sustain his great start to settle for third and collected 30 points. Wadsworth and Maker’s Candy finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The two horses gained their first points in the qualifying with Wadsworth gaining 20 and Maker’s Candy claiming 10.
Congruent’s Bid to Gain Points Stalled
Congruent finished a disappointing sixth and his total of 20 points remained unchanged. It maybe recalled that last month the horse won the John Battaglia Memorial and scored 20 Derby points. Baby Billy finished seventh while Escapologist, Bluebirds Over and Point Proven came in eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. Two horses were scratched before the race began and they were Scoobie Quando and Event Detail. The handlers of Scoobie Quando were not able to be reached for comment on why the horse was removed from the race on the last minute while a “minor setback” derailed the plan for Event Detail to race in the Jeff Ruby Steaks.
Two Phil’s came into Saturday’s race with 23 points from his second-place result in the Lecomte and a third-place finish in the Risen Star. Both races were held at the Fair Grounds. The horse may have a good advantage when the Derby comes to Churchill Downs as he previously won there. It may be recalled that Two Phil’s emerged victorious in the Grade 3 Street Sense Stakes on October 30 in the Kentucky Derby venue. There is a possibility that familiarity with the track would give Two Phil’s a big victory in the race, upsetting the top favorites and secure a significant amount of cash to his handlers. However, betting for horseracing in the Kentucky Derby is still early as only a few horses are assured of entry in the race.