Orchid Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Regalo Mia meets Gathering, returning to Keeneland after an impressive allowance win in her first start in the United States earlier this month, in the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 21.
The feature event on the next-to-last day of the Keeneland spring stand brings together a field of 12 older fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles on the grass. It is the eighth race on the card with a 4:42 EDT probable post.
Regalo Mia won the Orchid at the Bewitch distance by two lengths, rallying wide from off the pace and drawing off late March 30 at Gulfstream Park. The 4-year-old Sligo Bay filly, trained by Michelle Nihei for Steven W. Ciccarone, has a 3-3-3 lifetime mark from 10 starts and ran third in her only prior try over the Keeneland lawn in last spring's Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT).
MOST WINS BY A JOCKEY: Pat Day 6. Active – John Velazquez 2, Edgar Prado 2.
MOST WINS BY A TRAINER: Doug Davis, Jr. 5. Active – Bill Mott 3, Roger Attfield 3.
BIGGEST LONGSHOT WINNER: Jolie Dutch (1980), paid $106.80 to win.
FASTEST TIME: Bursting Forth (1999) 2:27.54.
FACTOIDS: Bewitch by Bull Lea won 22 of 55 career starts with her first two wins happening at Keeneland in a span of eight days in April of 1947. She was owned and bred by Calumet Farm.
Compiled by Gary Dougherty
Augustin Stable homebred Gathering was an eye-catching 3 1/4-length winner of a first-level allowance race at nine furlongs on the Keeneland turf when favored April 6. The 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, was group III-placed in her previous start at Sandown in England.
Out of the graded stakes winner Seebe, by Danzig, Gathering won two of six starts with three placings in Great Britain. She worked five furlongs over Keeneland's Polytrack in 1:02 1/5 April 21.
Luis Contreras is aboard Regalo Mia, the 120-pound high weight, and they break from post 9. Gathering drew post 5 and will be guided once again by Rosie Napravnik.
Trainer Graham Motion has three entrants in the Bewitch. They include Andrew Stone's British-bred Strathnaver. In her first U.S. start, she set a Gulfstream Park record of 1:56.39 for 1 3/16 miles on the turf. The 4-year-old Oasis Dream filly won the March 16 allowance heat by three-quarters of a length. She has post 11 in the Bewitch with Joel Rosario aboard.
Motion also has Qushchi for Stone and Angegreen for Team Valor International and Robert LaPenta.
The British-bred Qushchi, who drew the rail, has had two U.S. starts. The 5-year-old Encosta de Lago mare comes off a runner-up finish to Bewitch rival Scampering in an April 5 allowance at 1 3/8 miles on yielding ground. Edgar Prado has the call.
Angegreen, bred in Italy, ran second to Regalo Mia in the Orchid after unleashing a big kick from ninth. The 4-year-old Ekraar filly also finished second in the 11-furlong The Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Feb. 16. She has the far outside post and will be ridden by Joe Rocco Jr.
Stuart Janney III's Scampering has ascended the allowance ladder with two wins in her past three starts. She makes her stakes debut for trainer Shug McGaughey. The 4-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex has three wins and two seconds from seven lifetime starts. Javier Castellano is back aboard.
$150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:42 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Qushchi (GB), E S Prado, 118, H G Motion
2. Kissable (IRE), J R Leparoux, 118, R L Attfield
3. Revelstoke (KY), B J Hernandez Jr., 118, J Corrigan
4. Alaura Michele (KY), G L Stevens, 118, D L Romans
5. Gathering (PA), R Napravnik, 118, J E Sheppard
6. And Why Not (KY), S Bridgmohan, 118, M R Matz
7. Charming She Is (KY), L R Goncalves, 118, K Gorder
8. Scampering (KY), J Castellano, 118, C R McGaughey III
9. Regalo Mia (FL), L Contreras, 120, M Nihei
10. Dynarama (KY), J Graham, 118, H Pitts
11. Strathnaver (GB), J Rosario, 118, H G Motion
12. Angegreen (ITY), J Rocco Jr., 118, H G Motion