Trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Miguel Mena, So Many Ways won the grade I Spinaway Stakes at 2 last year and the grade III Eight Belles Stakes earlier this year. She came to Charles Town off a pair of fourth-place finishes in the Test and Prioress Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
So Many Ways, by Sightseeing out of the Dehere mare Happy Scene, was bred in Pennsylvania by John R. Penn and John C. Penn. She now has five victories in 10 starts.
"She had a little trouble at Saratoga," said assistant trainer Maurice Sanchez, who accompanied So Many Ways to Charles Town four days in advance of the Oaks. "For some reason she just wasn't right that month. But I galloped her here, she saw the lights, and schooled in the paddock every night.
"The turns were the question mark, but she looked good tonight. Whatever Tom (Amoss) did, it worked."
Amoss trained the filly on the three-quarter-mile track at the Churchill Downs Training Center before shipping to Charles Town, which has the same size main track. He liked what he saw and opted for the Oaks over the grade III Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs the same day.
"She's a special filly who Tony Dutrow and Tom Amoss did a great job with," Moss said. "And it was a great ride by Miguel Mena."
Fractions for the Charles Town Oaks, run on a sloppy surface, were :22.89 for the opening quarter-mile, :46.44 for the half-mile, and 1:12.48 for six furlongs. So Many Ways finished up in 1:26.62.
R Free Roll, who stalked front-running Jax and Jill before taking over on the far turn, was gradually reeled in by So Many Ways, who won by 2 3/4 lengths. Our Free Roll finished second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Mr Hall's Opus, who rallied for third.
So Many Ways paid $5.40 as the favorite and topped a $24.60 exacta.