June 24, 2024

Endlessly rolls in Jeff Ruby Steaks but may bypass Kentucky Derby

Endlessly wins the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Amerman Racing Stables’ Endlessly put his dynamic late kick on display in Saturday’s $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park, rallying past rivals to score easily by four lengths, but he apparently won’t be headed to the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 4 despite winning the major qualifier.

“This was a really solid effort, but I think his best days down the road are on turf,” said trainer Michael McCarthy, who indicated he will point Endlessly to the $600,000 American Turf (G2) on the Kentucky Derby undercard. “I thought he sat a great trip today being just off a fast pace. He’s a very nice colt and mentally has handled everything in stride. I think he has a very bright future ahead of him and he’s already very accomplished in his young career.”

As part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the Jeff Ruby offered points on a 100-50-25-10-10 basis to the top five finishers, and the 1 1/8-mile race on Tapeta has produced a winner (Rich Strike) and a runner-up (Two Phil’s) in the Run for the Roses the last two years.

Umberto Rispoli was in from California to ride Endlessly, a Kentucky-bred son of Oscar Performance, and the bay colt left the starting gate as the 1.44-1 favorite. He bided his time his time in seventh before advancing closer on the far turn and after rallying wide into the stretch, Endlessly boldly drove past rivals to a clear lead. He stopped the teletimer in 1:50.15.

“I just remained patient with the face pace in front of me,” Rispoli said. “This was his second start on the Tapeta and I think he handled it much better today (than in the El Camino Real Derby). He was able to get into a much better rhythm. In the stretch he was just so powerful and continued to go strongly through the wire.”

His first four starts, including a pair of Grade 3 wins, came on turf at Del Mar and Santa Anita last year, and Endlessly was exiting a rallying triumph in his 2024 opener, the Feb. 10 El Camino Real Derby on Golden Gate Fields’ Tapeta. He’s now earned $631,200 from a 6-5-0-0 record.

West Saratoga tracked the pace to the stretch and narrowly prevailed in a tight battle for the minor awards, edging Seize the Grey by a head at 36-1. Seize the Grey, the 6.60-1 third choice, was a head better than 10-1 Triple Espresso, who had a troubled trip in traffic.

It was another nose to pacesetter Lucky Jeremy in fifth, and Woodcourt, Dancing Groom, Northern Flame, Otello, and Noted completed the order.

Bred in Kentucky, Endlessly is the first stakes winner from the unraced Langfuhr mare Dream Fuhrever, a half-sister to the dam of Grade 1 turf winner Coffee Clique and multiple Grade 3 turf victor Admission Office.