George Krikorian’s favored War Like Goddess rallied from off the pace in impressive fashion to capture the 59th running of the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3) on closing day of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. Ridden by Julien Leparoux for trainer Bill Mott, she finished 3¾ lengths ahead of stablemate Delta’s Kingdom and won the 1½-mile race in 2:29.21.
War Like Goddess gave Mott, a member of the Racing Hall of Fame, his fourth victory in the Bewitch following Heatherten (1984), Gaily (1989) and Miss Lenora (1993).
In the Bewitch, Three Flamingos led the field through fractions of :24.46, :49.73, 1:15.96 and a mile in 1:41.73 while War Like Goddess raced far back in the field of 11 older fillies and mares.
Leparoux swung War Like Goddess five-wide in upper stretch, and the filly charged past the leaders to take command of the race.
The victory was worth $90,000 to War Like Goddess, a 4-year-old daughter of English Channel out of Misty North, by North Light (IRE). The Keeneland sales graduate, who was bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, has won four of five career races and earned $246,184. On March 27, War Like Goddess won the 1 3/8-mile Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park in her last start.
War Like Goddess paid $4.60, $3.40 and $2.80. Delta’s Kingdom, who was ridden by Luis Saez, paid $5.60 and $3.40. Pass the Plate, who finished a neck behind in third with Rafael Bejarano aboard, returned $4.80.
Kalifornia Queen (GER) finished a neck behind in fourth and was followed in order by Dalika (GER), Domiga, Three Flamingos, Margaret’s Joy, English Affair, Court Return and Cambeliza.
Quotes from the Bewitch
Bill Mott (winning trainer of War Like Goddess)
“That is her natural way of running (from off the pace.) She has developed very nicely. As a 2-year-old, she was kind of a spindly little girl but she has filled out, gotten stronger and is very professional. She loves (this) distance and she loves the course. Today was her day.”
Julien Leparoux (winning rider)
“I wanted to make sure I kept my position (early in the race). She was traveling very good for me. I felt like I was a winner the whole way around. When I asked her, she kicked on very nicely.”