Maker Gets Sixth Win
By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile
Field Pass ran down a stalking Invader in deep stretch to win by neck while pacesetter Fancy Liquor hung on stubbornly for third two more lengths back in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park.
The winner is trained by Mike Maker, who got his sixth victory in the Jeff Ruby, and was ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. during a rare stop at Turfway.
Field Pass was never worse than fourth, three lengths back of Fancy Liquor, who carved out early splits of 23.76, 47.78 and 1:11.73. Invader was the first to make a serious challenge, and he narrowly led with a fulong remaining. Field Pass prevailed in the shadow of the wire. The winning time was 1:499.34.
Derby points awarded in the race were 20-8-4-2. Halo Again was back in fourth, followed by Victory Boulevard, The Stiff, Myamanoi, Dack Janiel's, Austrian, Toma Todo and Unthrottled.
Field Pass, a son of Lemon Drop Kid, is owned by Three Diamonds Farm and was bred in Kentucky by Mark Brown Grier.
Winning Trainer Mike Maker: “He’s a good-sized horse. His conformation’s great. Great mind on him. I was getting worried right down to the wire. I try to bring some of my better turf horses for the Ruby. It’s paid off over the years. He ran a great race off the bench in the Dania Beach in a very competitive field and I thought he would run very well here.”
On next steps: “I’ll discuss it with the Wycoffs but I’m guessing the American Turf at on (Kentucky) Derby day.”
Winning Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.: “He broke sharp coming out of there. He put me in a good spot in third, outside the favorite and I tried to wait. I was close; I wasn’t too far back. When I asked him, it took some time to get going. It wasn’t easy to catch him (Invader), but he got the job done. They went a little slow, my horse wanted to go really bad and I didn’t want to struggle with him, so I let him go.”
Albin Jiminez, aboard Invader: “He was on the bit on the backstretch and I had to take a little hold. He’s a game horse.