Inimitable Romanee, Romantica Meet in Bewitch

Inimitable Romanee, Romantica Meet in Bewitch
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Lauren King
Inimitable Romanee won the 2014 The Very One.
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Gallagher's Stud's Inimitable Romanee will look to add a third graded stakes to her record in the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 24 at Keeneland.

The New York-bred Maria's Mon mare takes on 11 rivals, including 2013 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) runner-up Romantica, in the 53rd running of the Bewitch, which is the eighth race on the nine-race card with a post time of 4:42 p.m. ET.

Inimitable Romanee's trainer, Graham Motion, looks for back-to-back wins in the race after sending out Strathnaver to victory last year. 

Six-year-old Inimitable Romanee won the 1 1/2-mile Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) in November at Aqueduct Racetrack to cap last season and began her 2014 campaign with a win in 1 3/8-mile The Very One (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 15. 

The gray/roan mare subsequently finished a lackluster seventh behind winner Anjaz in the Orchid Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 29 and is bidding to rebound in the Bewitch, in which she will tote top weight of 123 pounds under the race's allowance conditions while all other entrants will carry 118. She is a consistent runner on turf having placed in 14 of 18 starts on grass, winning four times. She will have to overcome her widest draw in the race when she breaks from the 12 hole with Alan Garcia.

 Also coming out of the Orchid are Bewitch starters Viva Rafaela (second), Caroline Thomas (fourth), Stick to Your Guns (fifth) and Aigue Marine (sixth).
 
Juddmonte Farms' French group I winner Romantica will make her season debut after her second in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. She gamely drove between rivals a sixteenth out in the 1 1/4-mile race and finished strongly for a close second, a half-length behind Dank.
 
The 5-year-old Galileo mare won the Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I) in August at Deauville, then was seventh behind eventual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Treve in the Prix Vermeille (Fr-I) in September at Longchamp before shipping to the United States for the Breeders' Cup. She has a 4-3-2 record from 11 career starts. She will start from post 9 with Joel Rosario aboard.
 
Augustin Stable's Angel Terrace also will make her first start of the year after going winless in six starts in 2013. She placed second twice and third twice last year, including her third in the 1 1/2-mile Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes on Keeneland's turf course. 
 
The 5-year-old Ghostzapper   mare owns a turf stakes win at the Lexington track, taking the 2012 Pin Oak Valley View (gr. IIIT) going 1 1/16 miles. She will leave from the eight hole with Julien Leparoux.
 
$150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT, approximate post time 4:42 p.m. EDT, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 miles 
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Always Kitten (KY), R Napravnik, 118, M J Maker
2. Left a Message (KY), J Lezcano, 118, T F Proctor
3. I Dazzle (LA), R Albarado, 118, M Stidham
4. Street of Gold (KY), S Bridgmohan, 118, E R Reed
5. Stick to Your Guns (KY), E Wilson, 118, G C Contessa
6. Viva Rafaela (BRZ), J R Velazquez, 118, T A Pletcher
7. Freedom Reigns (IRE),C J Lanerie, 118, N D Drysdale
8. Angel Terrace (PA), J R Leparoux, 118, J E Sheppard
9. Romantica (GB), J Rosario, 118, W I Mott
10. Caroline Thomas (KY), J Rocco Jr., 118, B Tagg
11. Aigue Marine (GB), J Graham, 118, C Clement
12. Inimitable Romanee (NY), A Garcia, 123, H G Motion
 

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