Daddys Lil Darling, who has never won at Keeneland, will try 12 furlongs for the first time in the Bewitch Stakes

Daddys Lil Darling, who has never won at Keeneland, will try 12 furlongs for the first time in the Bewitch Stakes

Keeneland/Coady Photography

Daddys Lil Darling Stretches Out in Bewitch Stakes

Daughter of Scat Daddy is trying 12 furlongs for the first time.

Over the course of her 16 career starts, Daddys Lil Darling's trademark has been her versatility.

Normandy Farm's homebred earned her top-level victory on the turf in the Dec. 30 American Oaks (G1T), but she is also less than two lengths away from being a multiple grade 1 winner on the dirt, finishing second in both the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) last spring.

The Ken McPeek-trained filly is set to have her talents stretched again at Keeneland April 27 when she headlines a field of seven entered in the 1 1/2-mile, $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3T).

Though the 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy is trying 12 furlongs for the first time, she has done some of her best running over a route of ground. In addition to winning the 1 1/4-mile American Oaks, Daddys Lil Darling handily captured the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs in September, drawing clear for a 4 1/4-length score.

Daddys Lil Darling has yet to win at Keeneland—either on the turf or over the main track—but has never been worse than second in three outings over the Lexington oval. She finished a half-length behind La Coronel in the Oct. 14 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes presented by Lane's End (G1T) and also took place honors in the 2016 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1).

Installed as the 3-5 morning-line favorite for the Bewitch, Daddys Lil Darling enters off a fourth-place run in the March 10 Hillsborough Stakes (G2T) where she was beaten a length by winner Fourstar Crook.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the mount on Daddys Lil Darling and will break from post 5.

The main rival to Daddys Lil Darling looks to be Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Daring Duchess. Trained by Mike Maker, Daring Duchess enters Friday's race off runner-up efforts in The Very One Stakes (G3T) and La Prevoyante Handicap (G3T) at Gulfstream Park. Daring Duchess finished second in last year's Bewitch.

Entries: Bewitch S. (G3T)

Keeneland, Friday, April 27, 2018, Race 9

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1 1/2m
  • Turf
  • $150,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:30 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Ickymasho (GB)Florent Geroux118Roger L. Attfield6/1
22Mom's On Strike (FL)Adam Beschizza118Joe Sharp6/1
33Shezaprado (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGabriel Saez118Michael J. Maker20/1
44Coco Channel (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJulien R. Leparoux118Charles Lopresti20/1
55Daddys Lil Darling (KY)Mike E. Smith123Kenneth G. McPeek3/5
66Daring Duchess (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz118Michael J. Maker7/2
77Sully's Dream (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRobby Albarado118John Alexander Ortiz15/1