02/27/2011 11:07AM

Harlan’s Ruby takes Valdale at Turfway; Bourbonette next

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Harlan’s Ruby ran her way into the Bourbonette Oaks by proving a prompt favorite Saturday night in the $50,000 Valdale Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

With Perry Ouzts aboard for owner Shawnee Racing Stable and trainer Ken McPeek, Harlan’s Ruby rallied from mid-pack to challenge Jelly Cable for command at the furlong pole, then steadily edged away to capture the one-mile Polytrack race by 1 1/2 lengths. Kitten’s Dancer was up in the final jumps to take second from Jelly Cable.

Harlan’s Ruby, a Kentucky-bred by Harlan’s Holiday, paid $6.40 as favorite in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies after finishing in 1:40.34. She was making her first start since finishing eighth at 24-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall. Her best race at 2 resulted in a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Alcibiades over Polytrack at Keeneland.

The Grade 3, $125,000 Bourbonette will be run on the March 26 Vinery Racing Spiral undercard at Turfway. McPeek won the Bourbonette last year with Orchestrator.