Eight Beguiled by Keeneland's Bewitch Stakes

A nicely matched field of eight fillies and mares is set to challenge in the 44th running of the Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Race Course Wednesday. Topped by morning line favorite Angara, and second-choice Cape Town Lass, the field will contest 1-1/2 miles over the Lexington track's turf course.

A winner over the course April 16, Martin Schwartz's Angara, made the 2-1 early favorite, showed a liking for the setting with a driving 2-1/4-length allowance score after angling out off the rail. The daughter of Alzao was bred in Great Britain by Dayton Investments and shipped stateside in late 2004.

Trained by Patrick Biancone, the 4-year-old bay or brown filly put two races under her girth at Santa Anita before shipping in for the meet. Gary Stevens, aboard in that allowance win, gets the call for a trip from post four.

Ready for Angora is Raleigh Ralls and Dennis Foster's Cape Town Lass. The 4-year-old daughter of Horse Chestnut established a Keeneland record for 12 furlongs, grabbing an allowance win April 9 by 1-3/4 lengths over Bewitch entrant Nobel Stella.

Bred in Kentucky by Kings Way Farm, Cape Town Lass was a $95,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate and has earned $146,185 for her connections. Trained by Paul McGee, the filly started the betting at 5-2 and attracts the services of red-hot James Graham for a break seven spots from the rail.

Adding intrigue at 4-1 is the John Ward-trained My Dear Lady. A group II winner and multiple group I-placed in her native Argentina, the 5-year-old daughter of Mutakddim has the pedigree and connections to fare well with this group.

Bred in Argentina by Orilla Del Monte, and owned by John Oxley, this mare has hit the board in 15 of 20 career starts and could be ready for a big effort. Jorge Chavez will ride.

Gary Tanaka's German-bred Noble Stella, trained by Roger Attfield, is the 7-2 third choice with Mike Smith up from post three. A group III stakes winner in Italy prior to her importation in 2004, the daughter of German stallion Monsun posted a fine work (5F, Firm, 1:01.00, B, 1/5) at Keeneland April 19 and appears ready to tangle.

Literacy, Ballistic Babe, Strike Me Lucky, and Stormin' Diana make up the rest of the field from the rail out.

Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT), fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, 1-1/2 miles, $100,000, approximate post time 4:45 p.m. EST.

PP--Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Odds

1--Literacy, Edgar Prado, John Pregman Jr. 6-1
2--Ballistic Babe, Jesus Barria, David Sayre, 50-1
3--Noble Stella, Mike Smith, Roger Attfield, 7-2
4--Angara, Gary Stevens, Patrick Biancone, 2-1
5--My Dear Lady, Jorge Chavez, John Ward, 4-1
6--Strike Me Lucky, Rafael Mojica, Grand Hofmans, 20-1
7--Cape Town Lass, James Graham, Paul McGee, 5/2
8--Stormin' Diana, Phil Teator, Bryan Baker, 20-1