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.
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.
#12 Field Pass
#8 Finnick the Fierce
#6 Halo Again