The Sugar Maple, a seven-furlong race for older fillies and mares, drew a field of seven and is one of five supporting stakes on the undercard of the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II), one of the richest horse races in the country. The Sugar Maple has an approximate post time of 9:45 p.m. EDT.
Two races after winning the Oaks last year, Book Review was sent to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and scored immediately for him and owners Gary and Mary West, winning the La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. In the process, she defeated multiple grade I winner and Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic runner-up My Miss Aurelia.
The 4-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway has since finished second twice, in back-to-back Grade II races this year at Santa Anita, and heads into the Sugar Maple off a two-month freshening.
"She's doing great, so she's going," said Baffert, who had Book Review on the same plane east as his prize older horse, Game On Dude, who will contest the Classic. "She had a breeze Monday and came out fine. She's ready."
Holiday Soiree, a 4-year-old daughter of Harlan's Holiday bred by former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones, also races in the Sugar Maple for a different trainer after finishing second last year in the Oaks.
Run to Win Again Stable and Unlimited Equine purchased Holiday Soiree privately about a month ago and turned her over to trainer Tevis McCauley, who has been preparing her for the Sugar Maple over the track at Keeneland.
"I really like her," said McCauley, who worked the filly five furlongs in 1:01 April 15. "She just impresses me more and more. She's definitely a seven-eighths or less horse watching her train; the Sugar Maple is perfect for her."
Holiday Soiree has not raced since finished second in the Safely Kept Stakes last November at Laurel Park, but she has run well in all of her starts off layoffs.
"She liked the track," McCauley said of Holiday Soiree's race last year in the Charles Town Oaks. "We'd like to give her another shot over it."
Katie Get Excited, a 4-year-old daughter of Eclipse Award winner Stevie Wonderboy, races in the Sugar Maple for the first time since finishing third in a stakes last July at Woodbine. She has raced her entire career at the Canadian track with a Polytrack surface and holds a grade III stakes placing.
Frontrunning speedster Dangerous Vixen enters the Sugar Maple off a sharp gate-to-wire score in the Violet Handicap Feb. 26 at Charles Town. The daughter of Forest Danger, trained by William Starritt, has won six of 18 lifetime at her home track.
$200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes (Race 11, approximate post 9:45 p.m. EDT), fillies & mares 4YOs & Up, seven furlongs (dirt) PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Holiday Soiree (KY), K. Carmouche, 116, T Q McCauley
2. Kalambaka Queen (FL), J.D. Acosta, 120, W A Campbell
3. Dangerous Vixen (KY), G. Almodovar, 118, W D Starritt
4. Book Review (KY), M.E. Smith, 116, B Baffert
5. Dance to Bristol (KY), X. Perez, 120, O L Figgins, III
6. Bayonne (MD), E. Ramirez, 116, J D Cramer
7. Katie Get Excited (KY), K. Johnson, 116, R Griffith