While the Kentucky Derby is taking centre stage in early May over at Churchill Downs, Aqueduct Racecourse hosts the Grade II Ruffian Stakes in New York for the older fillies and mares.
Staged at Grade II level and worth around $250,000, the Ruffian is one of the newer Graded races on the New York Racing Association circuit having been inaugurated in 1976. In its time it has been staged across the state at Saratoga and Belmont as well as here and is named after Hall of Fame filly Ruffian, winner of ten consecutive races in the ’70s.
Staged at first and again since 2014 as a weight-for-age race, the Ruffian has been run as a handicap in the past as well as an invitational handicap. Previous winners include top fillies Lady’s Secret, Sharp Cat, Swift Temper and Fiftyshadesofhay among others.