June 13, 2013. After posting an impressive victory in the $75,000 John Rooney Stakes one week ago, Barry and Joni Butzow’s Bryan’s Jewel could wheel right back in the $100,000 Grade III Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park this Saturday. The mile-and-an-eighth affair for fillies and mares has attracted a field of six. The Obeah Stakes, named after the 1969 and 1970 winner of the Delaware Handicap and the dam of the Hall of Fame filly Go For Wand, is the local prep race for the Grade I Delaware Handicap slated for July 20.
“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,” said trainer McLean Robertson. “She had an unfortunate trip in the Apple Blossom, and she probably lost an opportunity to become graded stakes-placed in that race. Being graded stakes-placed is becoming more and more of an opportunity with fillies and mares. But we will see. We are going to gallop the morning of the race, and if she gallops well, then she will run. 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.”
Based upon fondness for Delaware Park and her most recent victory, Bryan’s Jewel figures to be the favorite despite the short rest. The 5-year-old daughter of Rockport Harbor has three victories at the Stanton oval, including her recent 3 ½-length triumph in the John Rooney Memorial on June 8. Previously, the Kentucky-bred ran second, beaten two lengths in the mile-and-a-sixteenth $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park on May 22. On April 12, she finished fifth after encountering traffic in the Grade I Apple Blossom Stakes at Oaklawn Park. She has a career record of seven wins, five seconds and four thirds from 22 starts, with earnings of $352,178. /Delaware Park press release