03/28/2010 12:00AM

Ruby's Big Band takes Pepsi Stakes


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Ruby's Big Band earned her fourth career stakes win in determined fashion, wearing down Lou Lou Larue through the final sixteenth-mile to earn a hard-fought half-length win in the $16,050 Pepsi Stakes on Saturday at Fonner Park.

Ruby's Big Band, ridden by Jordan Olesiak, shadowed the pace set by Lou Lou Larue and then made her challenge going into the far turn of the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. Lou Lou Larue and jockey Damon Leeds shook off the initial challenge to lead by two lengths turning into the stretch. Olesiak sent Ruby's Big Band down to the inside and gradually cut into the lead, reaching the front in deep stretch.

She returned $2.80 as the heavy 2-5 favorite in a field of seven and covered the distance in 1:14.40 over a track rated fast but dulled by intermittent showers through the day.Trained by Charlie Smith, Ruby's Big Band boosted her career bankroll to $106,683 with a record of 5-1-1 in 12 starts. Ruby's Big Band had stakes wins in the Debutante, Osiris, and Winnipeg Futurity, all coming at Assiniboia Downs in Canada, as a 2-year-old.