Book Review took advantage of a hotly contested early pace to prevail in Wednesday’s opening day $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.
Piloted by Rafael Bejarano, Book Review charged through the stretch to run down Reneesgotzip and odds-on favorite My Miss Aurelia to score for owners Gary and Mary West and trainer Bob Baffert. Book Review edged Reneesgotzip on the line to win by a neck, getting the seven furlongs in 1:22.41.
“I saw there was a lot of speed in the race and that was very good for me,” said Bejarano. “I let her do whatever she felt comfortable with. I knew she was going to come running at the end, so I just waited for the right time, and it worked.
“Mr. Baffert has been a good trainer for a long time and he always gives me a good opportunity,” the winning rider added. “My business has been down a little but I’m very appreciative of what he does for me.”
Book Review is a daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of the Distorted Humor mare Clever Babe.
Reneesgotzip, in front after six furlongs in 1:08.89 proved game in defeat after setting the fast early fractions under Garrett Gomez.
“She ran really good,” Gomez said. “She did everything I was wanting her to do except get to the line first. We dueled really hard and the other filly (Book Review) came to us when we were all staggered towards the end of the race and beat us today. She kept to her task and ran a tremendous race.”
Corey Nakatani, aboard My Miss Aurelia, the 2-5 favorite, offered: “Not the ideal trip. I wanted to be back a little ways. I was sitting there against her and they’re riding next to me and you move on her and she goes. I was trying to wait, wait, wait, and when you do that, it takes the race away from her. It wasn’t the best of trips.”
Book Review/Benoit photo