Ruffian Stakes Preview and Analysis

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, May 2, 2021

There is just one stakes race the day after the Kentucky Derby, the Grade II, Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park. A group of six fillies and mare will run 1 mile on the main track for their share of the $200,000 in prize pool money.

The one turn mile at Belmont has favored horses that are in the first three at the quarter mile marker on a track labeled as fast. The average 1 mile winner at Belmont is third at the quarter and the half and then starts to make the move forward. The inside three post positions also appear to have an edge.

Tactical speed, preferably with an inside draw, is the most common way to win a Belmont 1 mile run on the main course.

VAULT (PP: 1 ML 6-1) doesn't fit the average winner description as she's one that like to come from the back of the pack. She's normally 3 to 4 lengths behind the frontrunner and doesn't rev the engines before running a half mile. Her late pace numbers are strong enough to get home provided she doesn't fallback too much early.

WATER WHITE (PP: 2 ML 5-1) appears to be in the process of changing running styles. Previously, she was a stalker. One that would sit behind the pace and look to pounce as the leader tired. Recently, she's been moving forward and ran third at the first call in her last two starts. In her last, she was third at the quarter and took over for good after that, winning at 1 mile on Aqueduct slop.

OUR SUPER FREAK (PP: 3 ML 8/5) best fits the profile for the horse wearing a one, tow or three. The five-year-old mare has been second or third early on in eight of her last 10 outings, managing to win two. Although, it's been more than a year since the daughter of MINESHAFT and THATCHER was stopped for a photo in the winners' circle.

The morning line favorite, LAKE AVENUE (PP: 4 ML 7/5) ran the highest, last race speed figure in a race where she was fourth at the quarter and second at the half. The four-year-old filly ran away from the field of eight from there, pounding the competition by 6 ¾ lengths. Trainer Bill Mott has recently had her run as a stalker/closer in her last five starts after being a front runner in her first four races.

SAGUARO ROW (PP: 5 ML 15-1) has been a closer most of the time but has sprinkled in a few stalking trips in her last 10 runs. Based on the running styles of the other five horses here, jockey Trevor McCarthy will likely find himself no better than fourth after the first 4 furlongs.

GIBBERISH (PP: 6 ML 8-1) is the dragster of the bunch. Her past performance lines are littered with 1s and 2s in four of her last five efforts. Her early pace figures and fractions suggest she'll get the jump on this field as well and will try to lead them from gate to wire.

Here is how our friends at Guaranteed Tip Sheet see the race playing out in their Pro Subscribers Bonus Commentary.

LAKE AVENUE won her last with the highest, last race speed figure by a wide margin. WATER WHITE has a second and third in two at Belmont and three wins, a second and third in five at the distance. OUR SUPER FREAK has never missed at the distance with a win, two seconds and a third. GIBBERISH is four for four at the distance and no wins at any other distance in five tries.


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