06/13/2013 1:06PM

Delaware Park: Bryan's Jewel back on short rest off sharp score


Clearly, trainer Mac Robertson doesn’t fear doing things in an unconventional way. Just one week after watching his 5-year-old mare Bryan’s Jewel match her career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 91 by scoring an easy victory in the off-the-turf John Rooney Memorial Stakes, Robertson is giving serious consideration to bringing her right back in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Obeah is the final local prep for the jewel of the meet, the Grade 1, $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 20. Saturday’s card also includes the $75,000 Go for Wand, the last local prep for the Grade 2, $300,000 Delaware Oaks on July 13.

Most expected Robertson to take his time and decide whether he wanted to point Bryan’s Jewel, who performs well on both turf and dirt, to the Grade 3, $200,000 Robert Dick Memorial at 1 3/8 miles on grass July 13 or the 1 1/4-mile Delaware Handicap on the main track a week later. But he’s eager to strike with a sharp horse now.

“I know it is only a week in between races and it might not be the most ideal situation to come right back, but she gained a lot of confidence with her victory last week, and this also looks like a good opportunity for her to become graded stakes-placed,” Robertson said.

“We are going to gallop the morning of the race, and if she gallops well, then she will run,” Robertson said. “If she does not eat, does not look happy. or she looks flat, then obviously we will not race. But I do not expect her to do that. I think she will win, despite her trainer.”

Bryan’s Jewel has been established as the 7-5 morning-line favorite in a field of six fillies and mares for the Obeah. On paper, she doesn’t have much to beat.

Access to Charlie, the second choice at 3-1, has a second and two thirds in three starts this season – all in stakes – but the closest she has finished to the winner is 3 1/4 lengths in the Conniver, a race restricted to Maryland-breds.

And Why Not, the third program choice at 7-2, has lost 11 in a row since winning her maiden in 2011 and is 0 for 8 on fast dirt.

Fire Assay won her last, a second-level optional $25,000 claimer at Parx Racing in April that produced a modest 78 Beyer.

Go for Wand: Ile St. Molly in tough

Ile St. Molly, who won the faster division of the Our Mims Stakes on opening day, will try to duplicate her initial route success when she faces a slightly stronger group of 3-year-old fillies in the mile and 70-yard Go for Wand.

“I was surprised she got the distance as easy as she did in the Our Mims,” said trainer Kenny Smith, referring to Ile St. Molly’s wire-to-wire win going a mile that earned her an 81 Beyer. “This race will be tougher for her, but we will see what happens.

“Before the Our Mims, she was acting like she wanted to go a little longer, so that is why we decided to run in it. This race is a little longer and will be a whole lot more challenging. There will be more speed, and we will just have to see how she handles this next step.”

Among the eight rivals Ile St. Molly will face Saturday are three other fillies who prefer to run on the front end – Missy Rules, Tell a Great Story, and Golden Joop.

The most dangerous of that trio may be New York shipper Golden Joop. She crushed maidens by more than 15 lengths at Laurel Park in early March, but got burned out on the front end when she faced first-level allowance runners at Pimlico nine weeks later. Her Maryland-based rider, Sheldon Russell, comes in to retain the mount on Golden Joop for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Missy Rules won the slower division of the Our Mims, but was fortunate no one made a late move on her when she took 27.06 seconds to run her final quarter-mile.

Tell a Great Story comes in from Maryland following a wire-to-wire vcitory against just three foes in a first-level optional $50,000 claimer at Pimlico. Winning rider Forest Boyce retains the mount.