Jockey Gary Stevens wins the Bewitch aboard Angara, Wednesday at Keeneland.

Jockey Gary Stevens wins the Bewitch aboard Angara, Wednesday at Keeneland.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Angara Inches Away to Take Bewitch

Angara inched away down the Keeneland stretch to take the April 27 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 1 3/4 lengths over Cape Town Lass, with Strike Me Lucky three lengths back in third. A daughter of Alzao, Angara covered the 1 1/2-mile distance over a turf course rated good in 2:36.24.

Under jockey Gary Stevens, Angara was bumped just after the start and rated behind an early pedestrian pace of :26.50, :55.16, 1:21.95 while sitting on the inside. The pair eased out nearing the final quarter before rallying between horses four wide, taking over under Stevens' hand urging to get away late.

"We were walkin' out there," said Stevens. "I had her covered up nicely and she was very relaxed. She got to the front earlier than I would have liked, but we inherited the lead three sixteenths of a mile out."

The winner returned $3.80, $2.40, and $2.20. Cape Town Lass paid $2.80 and $2.40, while Strike Me Lucky paid $3.20. The exacta returned $9.40, and the trifecta paid $66.40.

Stormin' Daina, Literacy, My Dear Lady, and Ballistic Babe followed. Noble Stella was scratched as the field neared the starting gate.

Trained by Patrick Biancone for Martin Schwartz, Angara was making her second trip over the Keeneland turf course during the 2005 spring meeting, having won an April 16 allowance contest by 2 1/4 lengths. She began her first North American racing season with third- and fourth-place finishes at Gulfstream Park in an optional allowance claiming race and an allowance race, respectively.

The victory was worth $67,766.

Angara was imported to this country in late 2004 after previously racing in France for Ecurie Wildenstein and trainer Ellie Lellouche. Bred in Great Britain by Dayton Investments Ltd., she was produced from the Alleged mare Ange Bleu.

(Chart, Equibase)