08/22/2013 11:03AM

Finger Lakes: Miss Rubycubes enters New York Oaks off best effort


It was apparent that the New York-bred filly Miss Rubycubes had talent when she outran her 41-1 odds as a maiden in her second career start and finished third after leading until deep stretch of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes last fall at Finger Lakes. But it wasn’t until almost 11 months later, when Miss Rubycubes was tried around two turns, that she really blossomed.

Just two weeks after running by far the best race of her 11-race career in her initial route attempt, Miss Rubycubes will try to show that that performance was no fluke in Saturday’s $75,000 New York Oaks for statebred 3-year-old fillies at Finger Lakes. Miss Rubycubes will break from the rail when she faces five rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks.

Trainer Eileen Muller said she and David Brown, who owns Miss Rubycubes with his wife, Kathleen, did not even consider the filly as an Oaks candidate until they watched in amazement as she opened up a 14-length lead and then coasted home to win by 8 1/4 lengths in a first-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles Aug. 12.

“We were always wondering if she could go long,” said Muller, who has trained small strings of horses that have modest ability since 1987. “Dave had her dam, Ruby’s Rocket, and she was a good horse. He suggested that we try Miss Rubycubes going long. She dramatically improved. We found out she likes going long, and so we decided to nominate her to the Oaks.”

Ruby’s Rocket was a good, versatile mare for Brown, who breeds horses with partner Anthony Grey as the entity Sequel Thoroughbreds. Ruby’s Rocket won 13 of 46 starts and $269,465. One of her three stakes victories came at 1 1/16 miles.

In an odd coincidence, three foals produced by Ruby’s Rocket won their maiden for Muller at Finger Lakes within a span of four months last season. Dancer’s Rocket, now 4, won in July 2012, followed by the now-5-year-old mare M B Secret Ruby in August, and finally Miss Rubycubes in November.

According to jockey Pedro Rodriguez, who is 2 for 2 since he began riding Miss Rubycubes on July 30, the filly had plenty of energy left at the end of her most recent race.

“Pedro said she was still very strong at the end,” Muller said.

Running back on two weeks’ rest is nothing new for Miss Rubycubes who wheeled back 13 days after winning a sprint to dominate her two-turn debut. This will be her third race in 26 days.

Muller, who has never won more than seven races in a season or trained a stakes winner, said she is hopeful that Miss Rubycubes will get loose on the lead in the Oaks and defy her opponents to try to catch her.

The three most dangerous challengers appear to be City Gone Wild and Hellcat, both coming off victories against non-winners-of-two allowance company, and Two Susans, who has been freshened since winning her career debut sprinting at Belmont Park on June 12. Charlton Baker, the trainer of Two Susans, won the New York Oaks in 2009 and 2007.