Brian Nadeau’s Road to the Triple Crown: the Jeff Ruby Steaks

Turfway Park: The GIII, $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 20-10-5-2)

by Brian Nadeau

Brian handicaps at Capital OTB and Horseplayer Now, and he’ll offer analysis and selections of Derby points races, hoping to make us all a little money as we head to the Belmont Stakes. Follow him on Twitter here.

Invader and Albin Jimenez at Turfway, winning the Battaglia Memorial Stakes. Turfway Park photo.

A competitive field of 12 lines up over the Polytrack, with several trying the surface for the first time, which adds to a potentially tough handicapping puzzle. There’s no worry, however, with #1 INVADER (3-1), a beautifully-bred son of War Front that aired in the local prep, the John Battaglia, and looks primed to double up for Ward. The main danger is likely #1 FIELD PASS (7-2), who invades for Maker off a win in the grassy Dania Beach at Gulfstream Park last time, which suggests that this son of Lemon Drop Kid should handle the local surface. The wildcard is #8 FINNICK THE FIERCE (6-1), who has faced tons better on the dirt at Fair Grounds in a pair of middling efforts in graded stakes and is one of just a few in here to run this far, which bodes well for this son of Dialed In, for a Hernandez barn having a good meet. Don’t sleep on #6 HALO AGAIN (8-1), who won over the Tapeta at this distance at Woodbine in November in the Coronation Cup, and while this son of Speightstown is a bit slow on figures, there’s plenty of upside here and Asmussen brings in Hernandez, who was up for the win in the Great White North.

 Selections:

#11 Invader

#12 Field Pass

#8 Finnick the Fierce

#6 Halo Again

 

 

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