Juddmonte Farms' homebred Gaining (GB) will make her North American debut as the 120-pound highweight in the field of 10 entered Tuesday for Friday's 58th running of the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, going 1½ miles on the turf.
The Bewitch will go as the ninth race on closing day of the Spring Meet with a 5:30 p.m. post time. First post for the 10-race card is 1:05 p.m.
2019 Bewitch Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 9 at Keeneland on Friday, April 26 - Post 5:30 PM
|1||Beach Flower||6-1||John Velazquez
|2||Sky Full of Stars (GER)||9-2||Julien Leparoux
|3||Flower Party (IRE)||4-1||Adam Beschizza
|4||Ickymasho (GB)||7-2||Jose Ortiz
|5||Peru (GB)||8-1||Luis Saez
|6||Samuna (FR)||15-1||Tyler Gaffalione
|7||Maroubra (FR)||5-1||Joel Rosario
|8||Gaining (GB)||8-1||Florent Geroux
Now trained by Brad Cox, Gaining won the 2018 Prix Fille de l'Air (G3) in France. Florent Geroux will ride the 5-year-old mare, who drew post eight.
The Bewitch will mark the second North American starts for three horses: Phoenix Thoroughbred III's Sky Full of Stars (GER), a Grade 2 winner in Germany; Sunny Brook Stables' Flower Party (IRE), a Group 3 winner in Italy; and Manganaro Bloodstock and West Point Thoroughbreds' Maroubra (FR), a stakes winner in France.
Sky Full of Stars made her North American debut at Woodbine last October, running seventh in the E.P. Taylor (G1). The Bewitch will mark her 2019 debut.
Julien Leparoux will ride Sky Full of Stars, who will start from post position two for trainer Christophe Clement.
In her most recent race, Flower Party was fifth in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes for trainer Mike Stidham.
Adam Beschizza, who won the Bewitch last year aboard Mom's On Strike, will be aboard Flower Party, who will start from post three.
Maroubra is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream on March 29.
Joel Rosario will ride Maroubra, who will start from post seven, for trainer Cherie DeVaux.
Youthful Ickymasho (GB) Could Give Attfield Fourth Bewitch Win
Trainer Roger Attfield will be trying for his fourth victory in the Bewitch Stakes (G3) when he saddles Triton Stable's Ickymasho (GB) in the feature race on Friday's closing-day program. He won the race with Sweetest Thing (2002), Noble Stella (GER) (2006) and Lady Shakespeare (2010).
Last year, Ickymasho was third in the Bewitch in her North American debut after 30 starts in Europe. Although she is winless stateside, Ickymasho has banked more than $100,000 since relocating. In 38 career starts, she has an 8-11-4 record for earnings of $193,403.
"She seems like she gets better with age," Attfield said of the 7-year-old mare. "We (bought) her in England, where she had been running well, but she hadn't been running against the (upper level) competition like she is now. She is very competitive, so I am very happy with her."
Ickymasho enters the Bewitch following close runner-up efforts in The Very One (G3) and Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park in March.
"She always runs her race even if she gets beaten," Attfield said. "She looks wonderful and her eyes are always bright and her coat is in great shape. She comes off the track bucking and kicking like she is a youngster again. If they are happy, they usually run their best, which she has been doing for awhile."
Jose Ortiz will ride Ickymasho in the Bewitch, a 1½-mile turf test that has attracted nine other fillies and mares, and start from post position four.
Elysea's World (IRE), Abbondanza Racing's multiple graded stakes winner, headlines a roster of 28 fillies and mares nominated to the 58th running of the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3) slated for Friday, April 26, closing day of the 16-day Spring Meet at Keeneland Race Course.
Entries will be taken Tuesday, April 23, for the 1½-mile grass race.
Other names of note in the nominations are Modeste Racing Stable's Get Explicit, runner-up in the Pin Oak Valley View (G3) here last fall and the Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Also nominated are the 1-2 finishers from last fall's Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) in Calumet Farm's Vexatious and Hugh Robertson, John Mentz and Jeff Larson's Beach Flower. The Rood & Riddle Dowager is the Fall Meet's equivalent of the Bewitch.
About the Bewitch Stakes
Bewitch was one of Calumet Farm's great race mares who retired in 1951 with earnings of $462,605. The Bewitch Stakes was inaugurated at Keeneland in the spring of 1962. From 1962-1978, the Bewitch was for 2-year-old fillies. From 1979-1985, the race matched fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward. Since 1986, the race has been run for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and upward.