Charles Fipke’s homebred Lady Shakespeare stalked pacesetter Changing Skies for more than 11 furlongs, then overtook the leader in mid-stretch en route her first graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Grey Goose Bewitch (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) April 22 at Keeneland.
A full sister to multiple grade I winner Shakespeare, the 4-year-old Theatrical filly was ridden to victory by John Velazquez for trainer Roger Attfield. She covered 1 1/2 miles on the firm turf course in 2:31.42.
Lady Shakespeare ran alongside Magical Theater most of the way as those two chased Changing Skies and Kent Desormeaux, who opened up an uncontested lead through pedestrian fractions of :27.10, :53.14, 1:18.24, and 1:43.40. Changing Skies rounded the third turn still going strong and had a 1 1/2-length lead with a furlong remaining.
But Lady Shakespeare was finally asked for her best run in upper stretch and she responded with a quick turn of foot to take over from the long-time leader approaching the sixteenth pole. She won by 2 1/2 lengths going away. Sweet and Flawless rallied on the outside to get third under Junior Alvarado at 26-1. Magical Theater was fourth in a field of seven fillies and mares.
Lady Shakespeare was unlucky in her two previous starts this season, missing by a head in both the Jan. 16 Marshua’s River and March 28 Orchid (gr. III) stakes, both at Gulfstream Park. As a 3-year-old, the chestnut filly won four of six starts, including the Ontario Colleen Stakes at Woodbine.
This victory upped her earnings to $405,608 from 11 career starts, six of which have been victories. The Kentucky-bred filly is out of the That’s a Nice mare Lady Shirl.
Sent off as the 9-5 favorite, Lady Shakespeare paid $5.60, $3.60, and $2.80. The exacta (7-6) returned $24.20 and the trifecta (7-6-3) was $286.80.