A Gleam: 'Book' gets rave reviews

Updated: July 13, 2013, 11:04 PM ET
By Esther Marr | Bloodhorse



Book Review made a three-wide bid in the final strides of the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park to prevail by a decisive 2 ½ lengths over Teddy's Promise July 13.

The 4-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway was winning her first race of the year after a freshening following a pair of runner-up finishes in the Jan. 20 La Canada and Feb. 16 Santa Maria, both at Santa Anita Park. She won the La Brea Stakes Dec. 26 at Santa Anita against 3-year-old fillies at the A Gleam's seven-furlong distance.

This was a big one, too, as the A Gleam triumph sewed up an all-expenses paid berth in this fall's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita as part of the Cup's Win & You're In challenge series.

Trained by Bob Baffert for her breeders and owners Gary and Mary West, Book Review went off at odds of 3-1 and paid $8.20, $3.40, and $2.20. Teddy's Promise ($2.60, $2.20) ran a valiant second as the 122-pound highweight, a head in front of third-place finisher Byrama ($2.20), who was coming off a Grade 1 victory in the Vanity Handicap June 15.

Rumor and Winding Way completed the order of finish in a field reduced to five by three scratches.

Fourth after a half-mile Book Review surged three wide under left-handed urging to pass Teddy's Promise and the weakening Winding Way in deep stretch to win going away in a time of 1:22.75 over the Cushion Track.

"I just followed Rumor out of the gate and I was sitting very comfortable behind her," said Book Review's jockey, Rafael Bejarano. "[Book Review] likes to make one big run, so I just put her where she would feel comfortable and by the three-eighths pole I decided to move in closer and start to make my move. I knew she would come running at the end.

Book Review, who made the first big splash of her career in winning last year's La Brea at Santa Anita, also captured a pair of stakes at Belmont Park and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races during her sophomore campaign. In all, she holds a record of 6-4-1 from 13 starts, for earnings of $784,955.

Bred in Kentucky, Book Review is out of the Distorted Humor mare Clever Babe.

Teddy's Promise and Winding Way dueled for the lead throughout the majority of the race. Fractions for the seven-furlong dirt contest were :22.52, :45.35, 1:09.79,.

"She loves this distance and you know what helped is we had a couple of good front-runners," said Mike Marlow, assistant trainer to Baffert, of Book Review's trip. "It set up well. It's actually what we had in mind [Bejarano] rode her well. That was her first start on synthetic and that might have been her best footing. I think she really liked it. I'd guess there would be something for her at Del Mar."

Favored Teddy's Promise, ridden by Victor Espinoza, finished a head in front of 3-1 shot Byrama and Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.

"She dueled all the way and got a little tired at the end," said trainer Ron Ellis of Teddy's Promise. "It's tough to duel like that, especially at this distance on this race track. She's more of a dirt horse anyway.

"She doesn't care for Del Mar, so she won't run [until autumn]," Ellis added. "We did the same thing with her in 2012. She's definitely better than last year and I'm looking forward to giving the Breeders' Cup [Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 1 at Santa Anita] another try."