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Check out our predictions and odds for the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland!
*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
$5 Trifecta Key - War Like Goddess over Temple City Terror, Personal Best, and Sopran Basilea = $30
$5 Exacta Part Wheel - Temple City Terror and Sopran Basilea over War Like Goddess, Temple City Terror, and Sopran Basilea = $20
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick War Like Goddess (1/1).
One of the top female turf runners the last two years, War Like Goddess will make her seasonal debut on Friday when she headlines a field of six in Friday’s Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland.
The multiple Grade 1 winner is 9-of-13 in her career with better than $1.9 million in career earnings. When last seen, she finished a solid third against the males in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf over this turf course more than five months ago.
Trained by Bill Mott, the 6-year-old daughter of English Channel has won the Bewitch the last two years. In last year’s edition, she was also making her first start since the previous year’s Breeders’ Cup.
Chief among her competition in the 12-furlong turf affair will be a pair of graded stakes winners, Personal Best and Temple City Terror.
The youngest of the main contenders, Personal Best has found a home running long for trainer Shug McGaughey. The Tapit filly has won 3-of-4 in distances over 10 furlongs.
In her last two starts, she won the Grade 3 Le Prevoyante before running a good second in the Grade 3 Orchid. Both were 12 furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
This will be the fourth attempt to defeat War Like Goddess for Temple City Terror. All three previous losing attempts came at Saratoga.
Making her second start of the year, she finished last year with a pair of impressive graded stakes scores at Keeneland and Aqueduct.
Somehow denied a championship in each of the last two seasons, this daughter of English Channel comes back on Friday to begin another successful season. Not only has she been the best long-distance turf female in the nation the past two seasons, but last year she was the best of either sex.
She proved that by easily beating the boys in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and then running a good third behind a pair of European male invaders in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf to close out her season for trainer Bill Mott.
She will return to face some solid competition here, but as good as she is, she is strictly the one to beat. Last year she returned in this race and overcame trouble to win going away. She is the top pick.
This daughter of Tapit did not break her maiden until last September for trainer Shug McGaughey, but has really come a long way in a short amount of time. Always solid on the grass, she has proven to appreciate the longer distances.
With three good efforts in stakes company in the last three races, especially the pair at 12 furlongs, she looks ready to take on even tougher competition on Friday.
She will also find a different type of course condition here, but must be considered a real threat. I like a few others better, but it would be no surprise at all to see her continue her excellent form.
This 7-year-old daughter of Temple City just keeps improving for trainer Brendan Walsh. She is also right at home at the 12-furlong distance. In fact, one of her stakes wins to close out last year came at the same distance and course that she will see in the Bewitch.
Her only race this year does not look great on paper, but she faced good horses at a distance much shorter than she prefers. In other words, it was just a prep for this and other long-distance races.
Will the fourth time be the charm against War Like Goddess? Probably not, but I believe she is the top threat to the top pick.
Bred in Ireland, this daughter of Night of Thunder will make her first start in America on Friday. She comes over from Italy where she found pretty good success. A multiple group stakes winner over there, she was first or second in 10-of-15 races.
This will be her first start of the year, and her first for the Graham Motion barn, but he usually has them ready to run and she did win off the layoff last year.
She also should appreciate a turf course that will be softened by some expected rain. While the top three will take the bulk of the action, this is a mare who should not be ignored.
The second from trainer Brendan Walsh, this Irish-bred daughter of Nayef has never won on the turf. Having said that, it does appear that she appreciates the extra distance of the Bewitch.
Two races back, she drew off to win an allowance race at Gulfstream Park by more than ten lengths. That race was 12 furlongs and was taken off the turf.
If the rains in Kentucky force this race to be moved from turf to the main track, she becomes a threat to win. On grass, it appears she is a notch below the heavy hitters in this race.
The outsider of the field, this daughter of Kitten’s Joy has won only once in 20 career starts. Owned and trained by Tracy Glover, she finished sixth in an allowance race six weeks ago at Fair Grounds.
There are only six horses in the field, so she has a good shot to grab sixth on Friday. That’s about the best I can say for her chances. I find her impossible to recommend.
Bewitch Stakes Race Information
What: Bewitch Stakes (Grade 3)
Time: Friday, April 28 -- 4:44 pm Eastern time
How to Watch: FanDuel TV
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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