Sweetest Thing leads the field home in the Bewitch Stakes.

Sweetest Thing leads the field home in the Bewitch Stakes.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Sweetest Thing and Guidry Bewitch Keeneland

Reserved near the back of the nine-horse field early, Sweetest Thing and Mark Guidry charged from between horses down the stretch to win the 12-furlong, $100,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Thursday. The Roger Attfield trainee ran down Lapuma to prevail by 3 1/2 lengths on the wire. It was three lengths back to Lady Upstage in third, with Tweedside a length back in fourth. Sweetest Thing returned $6, $3.40, and $2.60. Lapuma was good for $5.80 and $3.40, and Lady Upstage paid $2.80. The final time was 2:31.80.

"She relaxed really well today," said Guidry. "There was a nice little pace going and I had tons of horse turning for home. Everything worked out great."

Tweedside, Temis, and Peace Keeping set moderate fractions through the first part of the Bewitch, with Tweedside opening up by nearly two lengths up the backstretch. Lady Upstage put in her run from the inside and was head to head with Tweedside around the final turn. Lapuma looked like a winner midway through the stretch, but only before Guidry steered Sweetest Thing off the rail to clear sailing on that one's outside.

Tweedside led for 1 1/4 miles before fading to fourth. Tree Ruby, Peace Keeping, Sunstone, Built to Last, and Temis completed the order of finish.

Bred in Ontario, Canada, by Kingview Farms, Sweetest Thing won for the fifth time in 11 career starts and pushed her earnings close to the $700,000 mark. Owned by Attfield, Canino, and Werner, Sweetest Thing was coming off a strong second in the Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream last month to Julie Jalouse. The daughter of Candy Stripes also hit the board in the Very One (gr. IIIT) earlier in that meet. Last year, she rolled a pair of seconds in a pair of grade II contests, the La Prevoyante Handicap and the Long Island Handicap. She has now won twice and been second three times at the 12-furlong distance. (Chart, Equibase)