The flashy chestnut colt TWO PHIL’S (Hard Spun – Mia Torri by General Quarters) was a very impressive winner of the $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (Grade III) – the marquee race at Turfway Park Racing & Gaming – on March 25 and the Larry Riveli trainee is now headed to the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Owned in partnership by Vince Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope and Phil Sagan, Two Phil’s earned 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship Series for his victory in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, adding to his growing total of now 123 points. Runner-up Major Dude tallied 40 points followed by third-place finisher Funtastic Again (30 points), fourth-place Wadsworth (20 points) and fifth-place Maker’s Candy (10 points).
Two Phil’s was ridden by Jareth Loveberry who fractured his tibia just a few weeks ago.
This could be the first starter in the Kentucky Derby for Foglia and Sagan, who bred Two Phil’s, Rivelli, who also races horses at Woodbine, and Loveberry, all who hail from the Chicago area and race predominantly at Hawthorne.
Two Phil’s completed 1 1/8 miles on Tapeta in 1:49.03 for a hefty 101 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form.
Loveberry positioned Two Phil’s in seventh in the early stages of the Jeff Ruby Steaks, 2 ¾-lengths off pacesetter Funtastic
Again’s quarter-mile time of :23.49. Up the backside, Funtastic Again and jockey Gerardo Corrales continued to dictate the pace
through a half-mile in :47.84. At the half-mile pole, Two Phil’s moved up to fourth, two-lengths off the pace. Around the far turn,
favored Major Dude began to make his challenge in the two-path while Loveberry spun Two Phil’s three-wide. At the top of the
stretch Two Phil’s poked his head in front and never looked back drawing clear in the late stages of the Jeff Ruby Steaks.
“The original plan probably wasn’t to run in this spot,” Rivelli said. “I was just looking for the best route to get Two Phil’s to
the Kentucky Derby. With this race on the calendar I thought it was the perfect timing and perfect spot. We’re on our way to the
Two Phil’s rewarded his backers with mutuel payouts of $7.64, $3.90 and $2.92. Major Dude with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in the
saddle returned $3.28 and $2.56. Funtastic Again paid $3.96.
The colt was fifth in his debut at Churchill Downs at 5 furlongs and then won a maiden special weight at Colonial Downs at 6 furlongs. He came back to win the Shakopee Juvenile at Cantervury before ending up seventh behind Forte (favoured for the Florida Derby next Saturday) in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Two Phil’s ended his juvenile season with a win in the Street Sense Stakes in the slop at Churchill Downs.
This year the colt was second int he Grade 3 Lecomte and Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Rivelli reported Two Phil’s will now head back to Hawthorne Park and ship to Louisville about three-weeks out of the Kentucky Derby. The talented 3-year-old boosts a lifetime record of 8-4-1-1 with purse earnings of $683,450.
Wadsworth crossed the wire fourth followed by Maker’s Candy, Congruent, Baby Billy, Escapologist, Bluebirds Over and Point Proven.
Co-owner and breeder Phil Sagan shows just one other horse as owner on Equibase and that is Mia Torri, who he owned with son Anthony. Mia Torri is a Florida bred who won a sprinting stakes winner trained by Jorge Navarro. The Sagans were involved in Standardbred racing before racing Mia Torri.
Kingsbarns remains unbeaten, wins sleepy Louisiana Derby
There were 100 points up for grabs for the winner of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) and while, ‘on paper’ the race looked deliciously competitive, it turned into a sleeper as the Todd Pletcher trainee KINGSBARNS (Uncle Mo – Lady Tapit by Tapit) set a slow pace and led all the way to win the 1 3/16 mile dirt race by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:57.33. He was assigned a 95 Beyer Figure by DRF.
The $800,000 2-year-old in training purchase (Fasig Tipton Gulfstream sale last March) has almost won all of that price back with the $600,000 winner’s share. Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Kingsbarns won his maiden at Gulfstream on January 14 and an allowance race at Tampa Bay Feb. 12.
Kingsbarns broke alertly from post 6 for jockey Flavien Prat. Jace’s Road also wanted to flash speed, but parked wider out from post 11, he ended up perched in the stalking spot. The colt got into a comfortable rhythm while dictating slow fractions, and with that advantageous set-up, he wasn’t going to be caught. Although Jace’s Road tried to challenge on the far turn, Kingsbarns kicked away by daylight. Disarm offered a fine rally for second, without threatening the 3 1/2- length winner.
Disarm, likewise passing his initial stakes test, earned 40 points. Another 2 3/4 lengths back in third came Jace’s Road, who added 30 points for a total of 45. Shopper’s Revenge had some trouble on the rail but held fourth, good for 20 points. Sun Thunder closed for fifth, receiving 10 points to increase his tally to 34.
Instant Coffee, the 3-2 favorite, was compromised by the lack of pace. The closer improved position somewhat but could get no nearer than sixth. Next came Tapit’s Conquest; Cagliostro, who broke through the gate prior to the start; Baseline Beater; Denington; Curly Jack; and Single Ruler.
Kingsbarns’ dam is a stakes-placed winner and half-sister to a few winners including Grade 1 winning turfer Gozzip Girl,