09/20/2012 3:18PM

Byron King: Beautiful But Blue the true value in Charles Town Oaks

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Tom Keyser
Beautiful But Blue will be racing her best distance of seven furlongs, over which she is a multiple stakes winner.

Book Review is expected to be an overbet favorite in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks on Saturday, leaving Beautiful But Blue as one of the best value-based wagers of a stakes-filled day of racing.

Why is the public expected to fall in love with Book Review? A notation of a troubled start in last month’s Test, likely causing horseplayers to be too forgiving of Book Review’s recent seventh-place finish in the race.

Still, it would have been encouraging to have seen her show something, rather than just passing tired horses in a race that unfolded fast early and slow late.

Beautiful But Blue, 4-1 on the morning line, is the filly more deserving of favoritism. She’s racing her best distance of seven furlongs, over which she is a multiple stakes winner, and she has a versatile running style that allows her jockey to place her on or close to the pace.

She also comes off the best performance of any Charles Town Oaks entrant who ran in the Test, having finished third, ahead of fellow Charles Town Oaks runners Well Kept, Jazzy Idea, Amie’s Dini, and Book Review.

Not just her finish position was superior. She was ahead of those rivals at every call in a fast-paced race.

So why in light of her accomplishments will she likely be a bit overlooked? The state of her foaling, New York, and as a result, the New York-bred restricted races in which she has often raced.

But having seen the quality of New York-bred racing improve considerably in recent years, Beautiful But Blue should not be discounted.

Look for her to get her preferred stalking trip in the clear on the outside and take command late over the bullring track set up at Charles Town, where sprints longer than 4 1/2 furlongs are contested around two turns.

And speaking of late, post for the Charles Town Oaks will be that – 10:30 p.m Eastern.

Miss Shenandoah

A couple of races earlier on a stakes-filled Charles Town night program, Flattering Bea looks poised to win her first stakes race in the Miss Shenandoah.

Typical of a stakes race for 2-year-olds, the Miss Shenandoah drew a field loaded with speed, with four to five horses in the seven-horse field seemingly wanting to be on the lead or very close to the lead. And with so many accustomed to racing distances shorter than the 6 1/2 furlongs they will race in the Miss Shenandoah, a fast pace is expected, with horses running on fumes late.

Should this scenario unfold, it will play to the strength of Flattering Bea, a filly who came from just off the pace to win a Delaware Park maiden race Aug. 6. There, she rated comfortably behind modest fractions, kicked into gear in the turn, and accelerated away from the pack late.

She appears better suited to racing 6 1/2 furlongs than any filly in the race.

Kent Stakes

Similar to Beautiful But Blue, King Kreesa is a New York-bred likely to be overlooked in the Kent Stakes at Delaware, setting him up as a potentially rewarding value play.

King Kreesa sits at 12-1 on the morning line – four times the odds of 3-1 Lucky Chappy, who finished just a neck in front of King Kreesa when third in the Sept. 2 Saranac at Saratoga.

In light of how little separated the pair last time out, with King Kreesa having experienced the worse trip of the two, the odds discrepancy is illogical.

Consider: Lucky Chappy got past King Kreesa only in the final two to three strides of the Saranac, despite having every advantage in a fast-paced race that played to his rallying style.

Front-running King Kreesa, in comparison, was not suited by the hot tempo in the Saranac, fighting his rider and rank when rated well off the pace for the first quarter-mile of the race. Ultimately, he finished with a nice run once he found room in the lane after being buried inside horses in early stretch.

Drawn outside in the Kent, look for King Kreesa to get a much more favorable trip, either setting or sitting just off the pace.

Dennis Carr, who rode him to his maiden win this spring at Aqueduct, picks up the mount with regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. riding at Parx Racing on Saturday. Carr has a winning history with trainer Jeremiah Englehart, with the duo going 6 for 19 together in 2011-12.