At odds of 14-1, Gallagher’s Stud’s
Inimitable Romanee charged down the center of the turf course and caught
20-1 longshot Aigue Marine (GB) to post a head victory in the 53rd running
of the $150,000 Bewitch (G3) before 13,847 fans at Keeneland. The
victory marked the third Grade 3 stakes victory in the last four races
for the 6-year-old, New York-bred daughter of Maria’s Mon.
Inimitable Romanee, trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Alan
Garcia, broke from the outside post in the field of 12 fillies and
mares, 4-year-olds and up, racing 1½ miles on a turf course labeled
firm. She settled in midpack while Viva Rafaela (BRZ) led the field
through fractions of :26.01, :51.89, 1:17.41, 1:42.82 and 2:07.92 with
Aigue Marine in closest pursuit.
Eighth around the final turn, Garcia swung Inimitable Romanee to the
outside and took aim on the leaders. Viva Rafaela along the rail began
to give way to her challengers, and Aigue Marine took the lead but
couldn’t hold off Inimitable Romanee while Caroline Thomas made a run
and finished a neck back in third. Time for the race was 2:32.29.
Inimitable Romanee paid $31.20, $15.80 and $8.40. Aigue Marine,
ridden by James Graham, returned $16.40 and $10.60 for place. Caroline
Thomas, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., paid $7.60 to show.
Romantica (GB), the 7-10 favorite, was fourth and was followed in
order by Viva Rafaela, Always Kitten, Freedom Reigns (IRE), Street of
Gold, Left a Message, Angel Terrace, I Dazzle and Stick to Your Guns.
With the victory, Inimitable Romanee earned $90,000 and improved her
career record to five wins in 23 starts and earnings of $473,875. She
added the Bewitch victory to wins in the Grade 3 The Very One at
Gulfstream in February and the Long Island Handicap last November at
Inimitable Romanee became the second consecutive Bewitch winner for
Motion, who sent out Strathnaver (GB) to win the race last year.