09/19/2013 4:51PM

Charles Town Oaks: Amoss confident in So Many Ways

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Barbara D. Livingston
So Many Ways enters Saturday night's Charles Town Oaks off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga.

The easier option for Tom Amoss this weekend would have been to stay home at Churchill Downs with his Grade 1-winning filly So Many Ways and run in the Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes.

But after observing how well So Many Ways handled the tight turns at Churchill’s nearby training center, Amoss wasted no time shipping the 3-year-old daughter of Sightseeing to West Virginia for Saturday night’s $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.

The seven-furlong Oaks shares top billing with the $400,000, seven-furlong Researcher for 3-year-olds on a Race for the Ribbon program that begins at 5 p.m. Eastern. The Oaks goes as race 12 at 10:30 p.m.

Although the value of the Oaks far exceeds the $100,000 purse of the Dogwood, Amoss said that wasn’t the primary factor in his decision to travel.

“The money is part of it, but none of it would have come together if she didn’t show us that she could handle the tight turns,” Amoss said. “Just like we did last year with Sum of the Parts, who won up at Charles Town, we took her over to Churchill’s sister track to train over. It’s a six-furlong track, and she went real good around the tighter turns there, and it gave us enough confidence that she wouldn’t have any problems handling them.”

To get So Many Ways acclimated, Amoss sent her to Charles Town on Monday.

“We sent her up earlier than we normally would have,” Amoss said. “She hasn’t been the best horse in the paddock, so we sent her up to get settled.”

[CHARLES TOWN OAKS: Get PPs, watch Saturday's full card live]

My Happy Face, who missed by a neck in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga last month, will be a major factor if she runs. She is cross-entered in Saturday’s $1 million Cotillion at Parx.

Among those So Many Ways is certain to face in a field in which four horses are cross-entered elsewhere are Gold Edge, the winner of the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie on Polytrack a year ago; R Free Roll, who posted a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the six-furlong Unbridled Stakes at Calder in June; and Ile St. Molly, freshened since missing by a half-length in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks in July.

Gold Edge has not raced on dirt since winning her career debut at Churchill Downs in June 2012, but she has been training locally since she was transferred from trainer Wayne Catalano to the low-profile Keturah Obed-Letts following her fifth straight loss this season.

“When she got here, she was really quiet and would just stand back in the corner of her stall,” said Obed-Letts, who also will saddle Henny’s Princess for owner James Miller in the Rachel’s Turn Stakes earlier on the card. “But now, she’s taken in the sights in her new environment, has gotten back to being a horse, and is training much more aggressively. I hope she can run back to her last work because it was very good, and she seemed to bounce out of it great, too.”

Researcher: Bond Vigilante rising

Since he made his career debut with a modest 51 Beyer Speed Figure in March, Bond Vigilante has improved dramatically while putting together a three-race winning streak. In climbing the class ladder while registering Beyers of 74, 84, and 94, the New York-bred Bond Vigilante has earned a shot at the $400,000 Researcher (race 11).

“We’ve always liked the horse and have always been high on him,” trainer Chad Brown said. “He’s shown me that he has ability, and I think he’s really earned his way into a race like this based off his last couple efforts.”

Bond Vigilante’s owners, Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence, won this race a year ago, when it was known as the Red Legend, with Sum of the Parts.

Among those Bond Vigilante will face are Our Double Play, a Churchill-based colt who has been off since finishing fourth as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby in June, and Hidden Canyon, a winner of five straight races locally.

Our Double Play, the winner of the Prairie Mile on June 1, tuned up for his return by working a bullet five furlongs in 58.80 seconds at Churchill on Sept. 7.

Hidden Canyon, 5 for 7 lifetime, has the home-track advantage and is 2 for 2 at the seven-furlong distance of the Researcher.