Book'em Danno puts away competition in Pasco Stakes

Marcus Hersh, Daily Racing Form

Book’em Danno took no prisoners in his 3-year-old debut, delivering an arresting performance in the $125,000 Pasco Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. 

Sweeping five to six paths wide around the Pasco’s one turn, Book’em Danno was ridden like he was the best horse in the race, a presumption he validated winning by 12 1/2 lengths despite significant ground loss.  

The victory hardly came as a surprise: Book’em Danno paid $2.20 as the 1-9 favorite. West Saratoga, the second choice, finished a distant second, with Rathmore third. Trying to sneak through along the rail around the turn, West Saratoga was checked in tight quarters, trouble that occurred as Book’em Danno was moving easily to the lead on the far outside. West Saratoga’s jockey and the rider of fourth place El Principito both claimed foul against Samuel Marin on Book’em Danno, objections that were quickly dismissed. 

Book’em Danno ran seven furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.26, 1.43 seconds faster than the winning time two races earlier in the Gasparilla Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Crazy Mason, who likely would have been third choice, was scratched, leaving a field of just six. 

Book’em Danno is not only an excellent New Jersey-bred, he simply is a talented 3-year-old gelding, adding the Pasco to open stakes wins last year in the Smoke Glacken at Monmouth Park and the Futurity at Belmont. Book’em Danno ended his campaign with a second-place finish after setting the pace in the one-mile Nashua Stakes, a defeat trainer Derek Ryan attributed to Book’em Danno racing on the lead. 

Indeed, Book’em Danno seems more comfortable with a target than as a target. Marin let him settle in fifth during the early stages, his mount loping along until quietly asked to come into contention, which he did rapidly and easily. The race was all but over at the three-sixteenths pole, and Book’em Danno appears to be a bigger, stronger version of the horse who showed spark as a summer 2-year-old. 

Book’em Danno is by Bucchero out of Adorabella, by Ghostzapper, and campaigns for the Atlantic Six Racing Stable. Ryan last week mentioned the Saudi Derby next month, a one-turn mile at King Abdulaziz Racecourse, as a potential goal for the gelding. The way he looked Saturday in his first start since Nov. 5, Book’em Danno would not be overmatched in that $1.5 million contest. 

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