Wednesday's $100,000-added Bewitch (gr. III) features an overflow field of well-matched fillies and mares set to compete over 1 1/2 miles on Keeneland's turf course. The post time favorite is likely to be Joseph Allen's German-bred mare Binya. The daughter of Royal Solo is undefeated on this side of the Atlantic and although she has never run a marathon distance, her performance in The Very One Handicap at Gulfstream Park in February 28 was sparkling. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will give a leg-up to John Velazquez, who has ridden Binya in both of her American victories. Denlea Park Ltd.'s Spice Island is already a stakes winner at Keeneland. The daughter of Tabasco Cat won the 12-furlong Dowager during the 2003 fall meeting. She followed that score with another marathon victory in the Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct. After clipping heels and falling in the La Prevoyante at Calder Racecourse last December, trainer John Pregman rested his charge until the Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream Park on March 21, where she lost by 2 1/2 lengths. Rene Douglas will fly in from Florida for the mount.
Owned and bred by Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud, Alternate seems to be a mare with a future. Patiently handled by trainer H. Graham Motion, the daughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew finished third in the Hillsborough Handicap at Tampa Bay Downs, her first start of 2004. She has the pedigree to run all day and jockey Cornelio Velasquez got acquainted with her last time out. They could post a mild upset. $100,000-added Bewitch (gr. IIIT), fillies & mares 4 & up, 1 1/2 miles on turf
PP. Horse (Jockey)
1. Juliette (Jerry Bailey)
2. Meridiana (Edgar Prado)
3. Miss Hellie (Jose Santos)
4. Lady Liberty (Robby Albarado)
5. Binya (John Velazquez)
6. Spice Island (Rene Douglas)
7. Boana (Brice Blanc)
8. Ocean Silk (Pat Day)
9. Mexican Moonlight (John McKee)
10. Alternate (Cornelio Velasquez)
11. Tempus Fugit (Craig Perret)
12. Goosey Gander (Rafael Bejarano).