As 2-5 favorite My Miss Aurelia and
longshot Reneesgotzip battled head and head on the front-end, Book Review was
in the process of unwinding a huge stretch rally with a furlong to go in the
Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, and
the Bob Baffert-trained daughter of Giant’s Causeway managed to get up and win
by neck on the far outside.
Sent from her number three post
position by Garrett Gomez, Reneesgotzip was engaged by the favorite, ridden by
Corey Nakatani, from the half mile mark and was ultra game in defeat finishing
a neck in front of My Miss Aurelia, last year’s undefeated Eclipse Award-winning
“She did everything I was wanting
her to do except get to the line first,” said Gomez. “She got hooked
every bit of the way and she didn’t get any opportunity to take a breath of
air. She kept to her task and ran a tremendous race.”
Owned and bred by Gary and Mary
West, Book Review had been based in New York prior to being transferred from
trainer Chad Brown to Baffert in advance of the La Brea. Unhurried early,
Book Review was 7 ½ lengths behind pacesetting Reneesgotzip at the half mile
“The West’s wanted to see the horse
run here and this race really looked like the logical spot for her,” said
Baffert. “She’s a late-running sprinter. She got here, she looked
great, she trained really well so we took a stab at it and it worked out.
“It’s great to be here on opening
day and to win a Grade I, that’s like a Christmas gift to myself.”
The win provided Hall of Famer
Baffert with his seventh triumph in the prestigious La Brea and improved Book
Review’s record to 10-5-2-1. The winner’s share of $180,000 boosted her
earnings to $594,995. The win also gave three-time Santa Anita leading
rider Bejarano his first triumph in the La Brea.
Book Review chased fractions of
22.42, 44.17, 1:08:89 and came home in 1:22.41 on a surface that was upgraded
to “fast” later in the day.
Book Review, off at 9-2, paid
$11.60, $5.40 and $2.60. Reneesgotzip paid $5.80 and $2.40. My Miss
Aurelia paid $2.10 to show.
My Miss Aurelia, who tasted defeat
for the first time when running second behind Horse of the Year candidate Royal
Delta in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 3,
brushed twice through the lane with Reneesgotzip.
“Not the ideal trip,” said
Nakatani. “I wanted to be back a little ways (off the pace). 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-wait and when you do that, it
takes the race away from her. It wasn’t the best of trips.”