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Ruffian Handicap

Grade I race
Ruffian Handicap
Location Belmont Park
Elmont, New York, United States
Inaugurated 1976
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Website www.nyra.com
Race information
Distance 11/16 miles (8.5 furlongs)
Track Dirt, left-handed
Qualification Fillies & Mares, 3-years-old & up
Weight Weight-for-Age
Purse $300,000

The Ruffian Handicap is an American thoroughbred horse race for fillies and mares ages three-years-old and up run annually at the beginning of September at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Raced over a distance of 11/16 miles on a dirt track, it is a Grade I event currently offering a purse of $300,000.

The race is named in honor of the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame filly, Ruffian.

Inaugurated in 1976 at 1¼ miles, from 1977 to 1989 it was raced at 1⅛ miles then in 1990 it was changed to its present 11/16 miles distance.

Sky Beauty won this race in 1994, Bayakoa won it in 1989, and Lady's Secret won it twice, in 1985 and 1986, after which she was awarded the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. The second filly to win the Kentucky Derby, Genuine Risk won it in 1980.

The 2001 running of the Ruffian Handicap was cancelled in observance of the September 11th terrorist attacks.


Time record: (at current 11/16 miles distance)

  • 1:40.16 - Tough Tiz's Sis (2008)

Most wins:

Most wins by an owner:

  • 2 - Cynthia Phipps (1982, 1992)

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Winners of the Ruffian Handicap since 1999







2009 Swift Temper 5 Alan Garcia Dale Romans Richard Nip/Omar Trevino 1:40.59
2008 Tough Tiz's Sis 4 Edgar Prado Bob Baffert Watson/Weitman 1:40.16
2007 Ginger Punch 4 Rafael Bejarano Robert J. Frankel Stronach Stables 1:40.25
2006 Pool Land 4 John Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher Melnyk Racing Stable 1:41.81
2005 Stellar Jayne 4 Jerry Bailey Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing 1:41.87
2004 Sightseek 5 John Velazquez Robert J. Frankel Juddmonte Farms 1:41.51
2003 Wild Spirit 4 Jerry Bailey Robert J. Frankel Sumaya Us Stable 1:41.23
2002 Mandy's Gold 4 Jose A. Santos Michael E. Gorham Steeplechase Farm 1:42.57
2001 no race
2000 Riboletta 5 Chris McCarron Eduardo Inda Aaron & Marie Jones 1:40.35
1999 Catinca 4 Jerry Bailey John C. Kimmel Robert K. Waxman 1:41.94
1998 Sharp Cat 4 Corey Nakatani Wallace Dollase Ahmed bin Salman 1:42.40
1997 Tomisue' Delight 3 Jerry Bailey Neil J. Howard Stephen C. Hilbert 1:44.43
1996 Yanks Music 3 John Velazquez Leo O'Brien Michael Fennessy 1:41.80
1995 Inside Information 4 Mike E. Smith C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Mills Phipps 1:40.80
1994 Sky Beauty 4 Mike E. Smith H. Allen Jerkens Georgia Hofmann 1:41.60
1993 Shared Interest 5 Robbie Davis Scotty Schulhofer Robert S. Evans 1:41.80
1992 Versailles Treaty 5 Mike E. Smith C. R. McGaughey III Cynthia Phipps 1:41.40
1991 Queena 5 Angel Cordero, Jr. C. R. McGaughey III Emory A. Hamilton 1:41.60
1990 Quick Mischief 4 Raul Rojas Charles Carlesimo, Jr. Gregory Mordas 1:42.80
1989 Bayakoa 5 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Ron McAnally Frank Whitham 1:48.40
1988 Sham Say 3 Jacinto Vasquez William Cocks Evergreen Farm 1:48.00
1987* Coup De Fousil 5 Angel Cordero, Jr. Jan H. Nerud Tartan Stable 1:48.60
1986 Lady's Secret 4 Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1:46.80
1985 Lady's Secret 3 Jorge Velasquez D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1:47.40
1984 Heatherten 5 Randy Romero William I. Mott John A. Franks 1:48.20
1983 Heartlight No. One 3 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Pedro Marti Burt Bacharach 1:47.20
1982 Christmas Past 3 Jacinto Vasquez Angel Penna, Jr. Cynthia Phipps 1:48.60
1981 Relaxing 5 Angel Cordero, Jr. Angel Penna, Sr. Ogden Phipps 1:47.60
1980 Genuine Risk 3 Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 1:49.20
1979 It's In The Air 3 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1:47.40
1978 Late Bloomer 4 Jorge Velasquez John M. Gaver, Jr. Greentree Stable 1:47.00
1977 Cum Laude Laurie 3 Angel Cordero, Jr. Lou Rondinello Daniel W. Galbreath 1:52.20
1976 Revidere 3 Jacinto Vasquez David A. Whiteley William Haggin Perry 2:01.00

In 1987, Sacahuista finished first, but was disqualified.


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