LEXINGTON, KY (April 24, 2014) – 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 Aqueduct.
Inimitable Romanee became the second consecutive Bewitch winner for Motion, who sent out Strathnaver (GB) to win the race last year.
Friday is closing day of Keeneland’s 2014 Spring Meet. Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m. ET. The featured ninth race is the 29th running of the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2). Post time for the Dixiana Elkhorn is 5:13 p.m.
Click here for a video clip of the Bewitch (G3)