Book Review, disappointing when seventh as the second choice in last month's Test Stakes (gr. I), is the mild 3-1 favorite in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks on the night of Sept. 22 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Gary and Mary West's homebred is one of the five 3-year-old fillies in the Charles Town field that raced in the Aug. 25 Test at Saratoga Race Course. The others are Beautiful But Blue (third), Well Kept (fourth), Jazzy Idea (fifth), and Amie's Dini (sixth).
In all, 10 were entered in the seven-furlong Charles Town Oaks, the feature race during the fourth annual "Race for the Ribbon" program. The Oaks is the 10th event on the card with a 10:30 p.m. EDT post.
Book Review endured a rough trip in the Test, her stakes debut for trainer Chad Brown after winning two of her first four starts. The Giant's Causeway filly broke outwardly and bumped at the start, then raced at the back of the 10-horse field. She gained little in the stretch to finish 6 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Contested.
Two starts before the Test, Book Review ran second to another stalwart in the 3-year-old filly ranks, Questing, in a one-mile allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park June 24.
Book Review will be ridden once again by Javier Castellano, who has been aboard the filly in all of her prior races. Castellano has had success at Charles Town this season, winning the $1 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) aboard Caixa Eletronica.
Beautiful But Blue, who drew the far outside as the 4-1 second choice, reeled off five consecutive victories on the dirt before her third-place finish in the Test. The New York-bred by El Corredor lost by just 2 1/2 lengths while racing four wide.
Trained by Tom Bush for owners Chester and Mary Broman, Beautiful But Blue has won three stakes this year, all against restricted company, including the Fleet Indian at Saratoga against older females.
"We started looking at the (Oaks) after the Test," said Bush. "We looked at it very strongly and researched it a bit. They don’t just give the money away in races like this. We just hope the filly shows up. She had an easy five-eighths (workout) the other day (Sept. 11) and is doing well."
Bush, whose stable star Get Stormy was just retired, is looking for a replacement.
"Maybe she won’t be as good as (Get Stormy) but it’s great to have the Bromans as owners and exciting to train a horse like this for them," he said. "Her dam (Beautiful America) was a great horse as well."
Joel Rosario takes the mount.
Amie’s Dini, cutting back to a sprint distance in the Test, had a difficult time while finishing sixth after falling 11 lengths off the early pace.
"She had a really rough trip," said trainer Ron Moquett, a former boxer turned horse trainer. "She came out of there with a bunch of nicks and cuts. She really got beat up in that race."
Early in 2012 at Oaklawn Park, Amie’s Dini won the Martha Washington Stakes and posted runner-up efforts in both the Honeybee (gr. III) and Fantasy (gr. II). The Bandini filly placed eighth in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) before finishing a credible third behind Grace Hall and Via Villagio in the 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks (gr. II).
Following the Test, Moquett wanted to find a spot where his filly wouldn’t be faced with a route of ground, but also didn’t want to shorten her up further.
"We were looking for an in-between race," he said. "We didn’t want to go back to something too demanding like a mile and an eighth or mile and a sixteenth, but not too short because without being asked, she doesn’t have sprint speed."
Ricardo Santana Jr. will have the mount on Amie’s Dini for the first time. They are 5-1 on the morning line.
Say a Novena won the Miss Woodford Stakes at Monmouth Park Sept. 1, her first victory in six starts this year for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. and owner Rick Shanley. Paco Lopez has the return engagement on the 6-1 shot.
"Last time out she was running against a little easier competition than she will face Saturday night but she did what she was supposed to do and came out much bigger and stronger," Plesa said of Say a Novena, who won three of seven starts in 2011.
Well Kept, a length behind Beautiful But Blue in the Test at odds of 71-1, and Jazzy Idea, with four wins and three seconds from nine starts in 2012, are both at 8-1. Jazzy Idea returned from the Test to win Jameela Stakes at six furlongs on grass by three lengths Sept. 5 at Laurel Park.
Doe (10-1), a four-time winner from six starts this year, has won twice at Charles Town including a front-running victory in the Lady Charles Town June 30 for trainer Wayne Cole. She drew the rail.
Holiday Soiree, fourth against older fillies and mares in last month’s Gardenia (gr. III) at Ellis Park, Swift Artist, second in last year’s Miss Shenandoah at Charles Town, and Defy Gravity, a veteran of three graded stakes, round out the body of the field. War Play is on the also eligible list and would need a defection to run.
$400,000 Charles Town Oaks (Race 10, 10:30 p.m.), 3 YO Fillies, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Doe (KY), M Franklin, 120, W C Cole, 10/1
2. Defy Gravity (KY), W Ho, 116, V A Testerman, 12/1
3. Book Review (KY), J Castellano, 118, C C Brown, 3/1
4. Say a Novena (KY), P Lopez, 120, E Plesa Jr., 6/1
5. Well Kept (KY), I Ortiz Jr., 116, L Gyarmati, 8/1
6. Jazzy Idea (MD), L Garcia, 120, E W Merryman, 8/1
7. Swift Artist (KY), J Montano, 118, M E Casse, 15/1
8. Amie's Dini (KY), R Santana Jr., 116, R Moquett, 5/1
9. Holiday Soiree (KY), J K Court, 116, D M Smithwick Jr., 12/1
10. Beautiful But Blue (NY), J Rosario, 120, T M Bush, 4/1
11. War Play (MI), W De La Cruz, 116, R D Allen Sr., 20/1