Bewitch (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
KEE- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
April 27, 2018
On Friday, the Grade 3 Bewitch will be run for the 14th time, and despite just a purse of $150.000, the field which has shown up for this race is pretty strong, and likely worth a lot more then what it on the line. This is a turf race for females that like to run forever, and the likes of Mo Ki Missy, a winner of over $1,000.000 in her career is here, as well as Smokin Nebulae, and that’s just where it begins as this field of seven should provide us an entertaining race. Last year, Cant Touch That won the race for D J C Racing Stables by three lengths, and other past winners include Volare and Tight Pockets. So while we get ready for a big weekend next week at CD, there’s still plenty to get our attention this weekend. Let’s meet this field!
#1- Smokin Nebulae (Drabfantasy, ridden by J R Velazquez)- After a strong work last Saturday at SA, Smokin Nebulae looks ready to run a great race. My favorite thing about this five year old mare is her overall speed consistency, based on speed figures. She doesn’t always win, and that’s an achilles’ heel that may have kept her from being closer to Mo Ki Missy in terms of career earnings. Typically, we see her coming from well off the pace, so everyone will need to be looking over their shoulder in the stretch. I think she’s gonna get it done here.
#2- Bonkers (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by C J Lanerie)- A winner of four out of 14 career starts, and we’ve seen the Cherokee Sunset filly in some big races, such as the Grade 1 Alabama and the BEL Oaks. The wins, though, with the exception of the Grade 3 Dowager, have not been at the stake level. However, the Dowager, run here at KEE at twelve furlongs for a similar purse would be a great comparison for this race, but Mo Ki Missy and Smokin Nebulae weren’t a part of it.
#3- Sunset Beach Bunny (Nakamura Stables, ridden by C Landeros)- The second Cherokee Sunset foal in this race, and this one knows how to find the winner’s circle after a race. In 17 starts, she has won nine, though its actually been a little while now since her last win. That’s not too bad a thing, as it corresponds with about the time she was moved up into graded competition, and she is still getting solid starts. It’s her first time at twelve furlongs, but she undefeated at ten.
#4- Blessed Dogma (Mb Stables, ridden by J S Rocco Jr)- In ten career starts, Blessed Dogma has always earned a pay day for the trainer, never finishing lower then fourth. She has three victories, but one has yet to come in a graded stake attempt. Though with a little more luck, she could have multiple graded wins, as four times she has been second in such a race. Most recently, she tried the main track, and won, but has raced on the grass the majority of the time. This is the longest she has run, as her previous high was been at a mile and an eighth.
#5- Pip Wicked (Chili King Stables, ridden by A Beschizza)- With two wins in 18 starts, Pip Wicked will be making her graded stake debut here. She was a bit of a slow developer, but starting this past New Years Eve, we began to see Pip Wicked turn the corner of consistency. She won an ungraded race, the $75.000 Daisy Devine at FG in February, and like a couple others, this is her first time at this distance. Pip Wicked has been working well of late.
#6- Mo Ki Missy (Smokey Stover, ridden by R J Albarado)- There was a time in late 2016 where Mo Ki Missy caught the attention of most of the trainers in the game. As such, she would be the post time favorite for the BC Fillies and Mares Turf that season, but would come up short. That period of time was her claim to fame, to an extent, as even though 2017 saw a couple of graded wins as well, she would not return to the BC. Recently, she switched hands in private sales for $200.000 to Smokey Stover, from Spankys Barn. She was a very close third against strong company in the Grade 2 Hillsborough. This will be a good race to see if Smokey Stover can get this champion back to that form of long ago.
#7- Gift Of Rain (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- On the outside, Gift Of Rain prepares to make her graded stake debut, and she’s earned it by recently rotating first and third place finishes in her last five starts. One of them was an ungraded win, the $125.000 Carotene Stakes for ON-breds last fall at WO. She has one race at this distance in her career thus far, which is one more then several here, and it was a solid third. This is her first start since racing 22 furlongs in a ten-day period in early February. Hopefully, she’s liked that rest. I like her here.