A 3 3/4-length winner of the John Rooney Memorial Stakes a week earlier, Bryan's Jewel was entered right back in the June 15 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park.
The $100,000 Obeah, the major local prep for the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) July 20, drew a modest field of six older fillies and mares, perhaps giving trainer McLean Robertson the confidence to take a shot.
"I know it is only a week in between races and it might not be the most ideal situation to come right back, but she gained a lot of confidence with her victory last week, and this also looks like a good opportunity for her to become graded stakes-placed," he said. "But we will see. We are going to gallop the morning of the race, and if she gallops well, then she will run. If she does not eat, does not look happy, or she looks flat, then obviously we will not race. But I do not expect her to do that. I think she will win despite her trainer."
The Obeah is named after the 1969 and 1970 winner of the Delaware Handicap and dam of the Hall of Fame filly Go for Wand. It is race 7 on the Saturday card with a 4:15 p.m. EDT scheduled post. It immediately precedes the Go for Wand Stakes, a prep for 3-year-old fillies aiming for the July 13 Delaware Oaks (gr. II).
Five-year-old Bryan's Jewel, with three wins over the main track at Delaware Park, is the 7-5 favorite on the morning line in spite of the short rest. She faced only three rivals in the Rooney Memorial June 8, which was scheduled for the turf but moved to a wet/fast main track. After stalking the pace to the far turn, she drew off impressively in the drive.
The daughter of Rockport Harbor was second, beaten two lengths, in the 1 1/16-mile Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware May 22. She ran in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park prior to that, finishing fifth with traffic issues in the stretch.
Bryan's Jewel, to be ridden from post 3 by Alex Cintron with top weight of 121 pounds, has a career record of seven wins, five seconds, and four thirds from 22 starts, with field-best earnings of $352,178.
Ciguaraya, owned and trained by Eddie Kenneally, ran third in the Winter Melody last time out, though she was five lengths behind Bryan's Jewel. The 4-year-old Latent Heat filly has a win over the track, taking last November's Crowned Stakes over Bryan's Jewel, who was third as the favorite. Abel Castellano Jr. rides from post 4.
Multiple stakes-placed Access to Charlie ships in from Maryland's Laurel Park for trainer Lawrence Murray and owner Howard Bender. The Maryland-bred 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare was third in the Conniver Stakes for state-breds in her most recent try March 23 at Laurel.
Helen Groves' And Why Not, a 4-year-old Street Cry (IRE) filly, attempts to rebound from eighth-place effort in the Bewitch Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/2 miles over the Keeneland turf April 25. Trained by Michael Matz, she has done most of her running on dirt, including a third in last year's Go for Wand at Delaware. Cintron also has the call on And Why Not.
Fire Assay and Star's Tizzy Fit enter the Obeah off allowance victories.
$100,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 4:15 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Access to Charlie (MD), J Pimentel, 117, L E Murray, 3/1
2. Star's Tizzy Fit (KY), S Russell, 117, N Saville, 10/1
3. Bryan's Jewel (KY), A Cintron, 121, M Robertson, 7/5
4. Ciguaraya (KY), A Castellano Jr., 117, E Kenneally, 8/1
5. Fire Assay (KY), D Centeno, 119, J J Toner, 6/1
6. And Why Not (KY), A Cintron, 117, M R Matz, 7/2