Horses

Somelikeithotbrown feasts on the field in Kentucky Derby prep at Turfway

Somelikeithotbrown scored a win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park on Saturday, earning 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Somelikeithotbrown scored a win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park on Saturday, earning 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

Somelikeithotbrown picked up 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard on Saturday, pulling away for a comfortable win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park in Florence.

The son of Big Brown, who won the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Somelikeithotbrown was the heavy 3-5 favorite. Under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, he took the lead around the half-mile mark and fended off a minor late challenge from Dynamic Rider to score a three-length win.

“The pace was honest but it looked like he was doing it pretty handily,” said winning trainer Mike Maker, “and he put the horse away that was contesting the lead with him down the lane … Tyler said he was ducking from the whip a little bit but he had a lot of horse left.”

Somelikeithotbrown now has three wins, two second-place finishes and one third-place run in seven career starts.

Tampa Bay Derby

Tacitus earned his first 50 points on the Derby leaderboard with an upset win in the Grade 2, $355,000 Tampa Bay Derby.

Ridden by Jose Ortiz and trained by Bill Mott, Tacitus broke from the gate at 8-1 and covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.90 to beat Outshine by one length. Post-time favorite Win Win Win finished third.

Saturday marked the 2019 debut for Tacitus, who has now won two of his three career starts.

“He broke very well and gave me a lot of choices by the first turn,” said Ortiz, according to Paulickreport.com. “He’s a little green still but we got a rail trip and it opened up for us. He’s a big horse and when he made the lead, he didn’t keep going; he kind of waited a little bit. He does everything so easy and I don’t know if he’s given me 100 percent yet. I don’t think so.”

Gotham Stakes

Haikal won the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham Stakes by one length at Aqueduct in New York on Saturday, earning 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby to jump into the top five of the Derby trail standings. It was his fourth career start and third straight win.

Ridden by Rajiv Maragh and going off at 4-1 in the eight-horse field, Haikal ran one mile in 1:35.63 and paid $10.80, $4.90 and $2.90. The 3-year-old colt is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.

“I felt like he was full of run, and I felt like we kind of had them measured,” Maragh said. “I just hoped he’d continue his run and not ease up, and he continued running, so it worked out good. It wasn’t that close at the end.”

Mind Control returned $5.90 and $3.30. Instagrand was another half-length back in third and paid $2.50 to show. Much Better, trained by Bob Baffert, finished fourth.

Twenty Derby qualifying points went to Mind Control, while Instagrand earned 10. Much Better received five points.

It was the first loss in three career starts for Instagrand who, like Much Better, shipped in from California.

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