Bewitch Stakes Predictions, Picks, Odds (Keeneland)

Bewitch Stakes Odds and Post Position

Odds for Bewitch Stakes taken from Twinspires Sportsbook.

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
R Bejarano V Oliver
2 LA LUNE 10/1
A Beschizza E Vaughan
T Gaffalione B Walsh
J Rosario W Mott
F Geroux G R Arnold II
I Ortiz Jr A Delacour
E T Baird S Manley

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Bewitch Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Trifecta Part Wheel – War Like Goddess and Family Way over War Like Goddess and Family Way over Stand Tall and Luck Money = $40

$20 Exacta – War Like Goddess over Family Way = $20

Top Pick: War Like Goddess (6/5)

Bewitch Stakes

War Like Goddess, one of the top turf females in the nation last year, tops a field of seven fillies and mares entered in Friday’s $300,000 Bewitch Stakes on a closing afternoon at Keeneland.

Among the 5-year-old daughter of the English Channel, four graded stakes wins in 2021 was an impressive 3 ¾-length romp in last season’s edition of the Bewitch. She earned her first Grade 1 victory two races later in the Flower Bowl at Saratoga.

She closed out her successful season with a narrow loss in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar. Friday’s Grade 3, 1½ mile test on the grass will be her first start of 2022.

Chief among her opposition in her repeat bid will be the Brendan Walsh-trained Family Way.

A 5-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo, who began her career in France, she won the Grade 3 Orchid at the 1 ½-mile distance four weeks ago at Gulfstream Park. It was her second-stakes win in her last four starts.

Although she was winless in 2021, Luck Money hit the board in all six starts, and all of them came in stakes races. Among her best races was a strong second-place finish in last fall’s Grade 3 Dowager Stakes at Keeneland at the Bewitch distance.

Bewitch Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

War Like Goddess

With just a little luck this daughter of the English Channel would have been a champion in 2021. Her big move in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf may have come just a little too soon. Unable to hold off the Japanese star Loves Only You late, she had to settle for a half-length loss which cost her the Eclipse Award.

A four-time stakes winner last year, including the Bewitch, it could just be a matter of how cranked up Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has her for her first race in nearly six months.

The course and the distance obviously suit her, so there is every reason to believe that she will come back running on Friday. As the class of the race, she is clearly the one to beat, but I do think there is one filly ready to make a real race of it on her return. Still, she has to be the top pick.

Family Way

While War Like Goddess quickly worked her way up the ranks of American turf females last year, this one’s ascent has been a little slower. Still, she earned her first stakes win, defeating a solid field at Kentucky Downs in September, and looks poised to do much bigger things this year.

She’s now well-proven at the distance having run strongly in a pair of graded stakes this year at Gulfstream Park at 11 and then 12-furlongs. With just a little more speed than the top one, and coming in her career-best form, she should have every chance to pull off a mild upset when the fieldsets down for the stretch drive.

The gray mare, who won the Grade 3 Orchid last out, is not my top pick, but she certainly looks like the top threat to the favorite.

Lucky Money

This daughter of Lookin at Lucky has very little early speed but has proven to be a solid mare going a distance of ground on the grass. That fact may not have been good enough to earn a win last year, but she did cash a check in all six stakes races.

Unfortunately, she has found a tough spot for her return. With a similar running style as the favorite, I believe she will have a difficult time answering the powerful kick of War Like Goddess.

Still, she is certainly a real threat to rally up into the exotics, but as the likely third choice, I am not excited about her value in the Bewitch.

Stand Tall

This one looks to get a good stalking trip behind the main speed Breeze Rider. If that one proves unable to go on with it due to distance and/or class, this progressive daughter of Uncle Mo is likely to be the one to strike the lead as they hit the Keeneland stretch.

That certainly makes the consistent mare a danger in here, but she will still have to deal with the late run of the top two, who are probably going to be breathing down her neck by that point.

Trained by Rusty Arnold, who has been known to pull off some upsets over the Keeneland turf, I like her third best. If for whatever reason War Like Goddess or Family Way doesn’t run their race, I won’t be surprised at all to see this one in the exacta.

La Lune

This English import had some decent wins over in Europe before coming over, but was generally inconsistent and was not beating top horses over there. Since coming to America, she has shown similar inconsistencies in three starts.

Her first race in the U.S. was clearly her best, but she was not able to beat Family Way that afternoon at Kentucky Downs.

Away since finishing way back at Woodbine in November, it’s pretty hard to know what to expect from the 6-year-old mare. Because of that, I am going to keep her off my tickets, but at her very best she could be dangerous.

Breeze Rider

The speed of the field, she will set the pace and see how far she can take them. A daughter of Paynter, she comes into the Bewitch off a pair of solid efforts running considerably shorter over the synthetic surface at Turfway Park.

We do know that she is equally adept at running on the turf, but the 12-furlong distance will be the real question mark; that and the class she will face.

Speed is always dangerous, even at this extended distance, but considering this promises to be the toughest field she has ever faced, I am skeptical that she can hold them off when the real running begins.

Core Values

The longest shot in the field was able to string together three straight wins on the grass last year, but they all came against fellow 3-year-olds and at a level or two below what she will find here. When she tried tougher a couple of times later in the season, she could not hit the board.

She also did not look good in her one race running long last year. Her return to the races as a 4-year-old against good Keeneland allowance foes was decent enough but does not tip her off as ready to win this. I like others better.

How to Watch the Bewitch Stakes

Bewitch Stakes Race Information
What Bewitch Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Keeneland
Time Friday, April 29 — 4:07 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $300,000


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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

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]