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Keertana rallies to win in Bewitch

Considering the success that Barbara Hunter's homebred KEERTANA (Johar) has had at 1 3/8 miles, the added furlong of Thursday's $150,000 Bewitch S. (G3) at Keeneland figured to be well within her scope. The 2-1 favorite endorsed that logic with a cozy 1 1/4-length victory, under confident handling by Jose Lezcano.

An unhurried Keertana was allowed to settle into stride well off the early pace. With the scratch of expected pacesetter Persuading (Broken Vow), Silver La Belle (Langfuhr) led through an opening quarter on the yielding turf in :25 3/5, but Honimiere (Ire) (Fasliyev) cruised to the front as the field passed the stands for the first time. Honimiere proceeded to reel off fractions of :50 1/5, 1:15 4/5 and 1:42, with Silver La Belle a clear second. Super Espresso (Medaglia d'Oro) and La Luna de Miel (Ger) (Monsun) came next, while the rail-skimming Endless Expanse (Ire) (Red Ransom), Keertana and My Baby Baby (Bernstein) were all content to wait.

On the third and final turn, La Luna de Miel and Keertana began to take closer order, creeping into second and third, respectively, through 1 1/4 miles in 2:08 1/5. By the time they swung into the stretch, however, Keertana plainly had the greater momentum, outkicked La Luna de Miel and soon dispatched Honimiere. Stretching clear convincingly, Keertana had the race wrapped up by the eighth-pole. Lezcano gave her an easy time the rest of the way, permitting the late-running My Baby Baby to reduce the gap without ever endangering the winner's mastery.

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Older Comments about Keertana rallies to win in Bewitch ...

Hoping to get to see her again at CD this meet.

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