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.”
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.