Safari Queen Tough to Knock in Bewitch Field

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Arindel Farm's 5-year-old mare Safari Queen as the 124-pound high weight in Wednesday's $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares on the Keeneland turf.

The successful stayer Safari Queen, an Argentine-bred daughter of Lode, should relish the 12-furlong distance of the Bewitch, which drew a field of seven. Safari Queen is coming off a 1 1/2-length win as the heavy choice in the Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park on Florida Derby day at the South Florida track. She ran second to Royal Highness in the The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the same course at 11 furlongs prior to that.

John Velazquez will replace Chris DeCarlo aboard Safari Queen, who was a grade II winner at 1 1/2 miles at both Aqueduct and Calder late last year. She has won eight of 14 lifetime starts with earnings of $490,489.

Gary Tanaka's 6-year-old French-bred Barancella, third behind Safari Queen in the The Very One, will try to turn the tables for trainer Bobby Frankel with Javier Castellano aboard.

$150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:45 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Mama I'm Home (FL), 118, Calvin H. Borel
2. Zulu Queen (IRE), 118, Julien R. Leparoux
3. Moon Berry (BRZ), 118, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Maxine's Hymn (KY), 118, Robby Albarado
5. Barancella (FR), 118, Javier Castellano
6. Indy Trouble (KY), 118, Miguel Mena
7. Safari Queen (ARG), 124, John R. Velazquez

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