BEWITCH ATTRACTS FIELD OF 12 DISTANCE SPECIALISTS
Augustin Stable’s Gathering, an impressive allowance winner at Keeneland on April 6, takes on multiple stakes winner Regalo Mia, three horses trained by H. Graham Motion and seven other horses that were entered Sunday for the 52nd running of the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3) on Thursday.
The Bewitch, a 1½-mile race on turf for fillies and mares, four-year-olds and up, will go as the eighth race on Thursday’s nine-race program with a 4:42 p.m. (ET) post time.
Gathering, a four-year-old daughter of Street Cry (IRE), scored a 3¾-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile allowance, defeating Bewitch rival Dynarama. On Sunday, she worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who won the 2009 Bewitch with Augustin’s Winter View.
Regalo Mia, a four-year-old Sligo Bay (IRE) filly, is coming off a win in the 1½-mile Orchid Stakes (G3) on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. She opened 2013 by winning the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes on January 19 at Gulfstream. Michelle Nihei trains Regalo Mia, the 120-pound highweight, for owner Steven W. Ciccarone.
Andrew Stone owns two of Motion’s starters, Qushchi (GB) and Strathnaver (GB). The latter set Gulfstream’s 1 3/16-mile turf course record when she won her last start, an allowance race on March 16.
Team Valor International and Robert V. LaPenta own Angegreen (ITY), who finished second to Regalo Mia in the Orchid.
The field for the Bewitch, from the rail out, is as follows: Qushchi (GB) (Edgar Prado, 118 pounds), Kissable (IRE) (Julien Leparoux, 118), Revelstoke (Brian J. Hernandez Jr., 118), Alaura Michele (Gary Stevens, 118), Gathering (Rosie Napravnik, 118), And Why Not (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Charming She Is (Leandro Goncalves, 118), Scampering (Javier Castellano, 118), Regalo Mia (Luis Contreras, 120), Dynarama (James Graham, 118), Strathnaver (GB) (Joel Rosario, 118), and Angegreen (ITY) (Joseph Rocco Jr., 118).
RAMSEYS BREAK RECORD FOR NUMBER OF WINS BY OWNER
When Scealeile won the first race on Saturday, owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey scored their 13th victory of the spring meet, surpassing the record of 12 wins they held with Calumet Farm and Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Roberts. By the end of the 10-race card, the Ramseys had added two more victories by winning the seventh race with Awesome Flower and the 10th race with Suyeta. (Click here to watch comments by Ken Ramsey on the win.)
The Ramseys, who own Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville, Kentucky, won a total of 12 races during Keeneland’s 2012 fall meet. That number tied them with Calumet, which achieved the mark in the spring of 1941, and the Robertses, who won 12 races during the 1968 fall meet.
Winners of the Eclipse Award as outstanding owner in 2011, the Ramseys are well on their way to their 12th title as Keeneland’s leading owner, which includes a sweep of last year’s spring and fall race meets. Through the first 12 days of the 16-day 2013 spring season, they have nine more wins than the meet’s second winningest owner, George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable.
Scaeleile, a two-year-old Master Command filly, was ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Mike Maker. Rosario and Maker also teamed up for the wins with Awesome Flower, a four-year-old Flower Alley filly, and Suyeta, a seven-year-old Indian Charlie gelding. They lead the Keeneland standings in their respective categories.
The Ramseys, whose other winners this meet include three winners on April 7, started 45 horses through Saturday. They have seven horses entered today, six horses entered for Wednesday and seven horses entered for Thursday. With all this activity, Ken Ramsey believes the number of wins will grow.
“I’m going to raise the bar up so my grandkids are going to have the fun of trying to break it a few years down the road,” he said on Saturday. “I hope when it’s broke I’ll be pushing up daisies.”
Meanwhile, the Ramseys are closing in on another Keeneland milestone. Horses they have raced have won seven graded stakes here. With one more graded stakes victory, they will receive a gold tray as part of Keeneland’s signature graded stakes trophy program. Only 17 other owners in Keeneland history have achieved such an accomplishment.
MAKER AND ROSARIO CHASE SPRING MEET RECORDS
Trainer Michael Maker and jockey Joel Rosario are each within striking distance of spring meeting win records at Keeneland.
Maker won three races on Saturday (1st with Scealeile, 7th with Awesome Flower and the 10th with Suyeta) to bring his season total to 15 wins. That mark is just one win shy of the record 16 spring meet wins recorded by Todd Pletcher in 2005.
Maker, leading trainer at Keeneland in the fall of 2008, has won five stakes here, including the 2010 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) with Stately Victor.
Rosario, who is riding a full meet at Keeneland for the first time in his career, leads the jockey standings with 26 wins, double the number posted by Julien Leparoux for second. Winner of the recent Beaumont Stakes (G2) with Ciao Bella Luna and Appalachian Stakes (G3) with Unbelievable Dream, Rosario is chasing the 32-win total set by Randy Romero in the spring of 1990.
Rosario boosted his spring totals with a five-win day on April 18, and four-win days on April 7 and April 20.
Maker and Rosario have teamed to win 10 races this spring, including Saturday’s win with Scealeile, which gave owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey their record-setting 13th win this meet.
D. Wayne Lukas and Pat Day, Keeneland’s leading trainer and jockey, respectively, by total wins and stakes wins, hold the overall records for number of wins in a single season: Lukas won 22 races during the 1989 fall meet while Pat Day won 45 races in the fall of 1991.
Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable’s Al Khali, a Grade 2 winner who is expected to make his next start in the Elkhorn Stakes (G2) on Friday, worked a half-mile in :49.40 on the main track on Sunday. For trainer Bill Mott, assistant Rodolphe Brisset was aboard the seven-year-old Medaglia d’Oro ridgling, who was fifth in an allowance race here on April 6. Clockers caught Al Khali in splits of :13.20, :25.20, :37 and galloping out in 1:02.60.
KEENELAND 2013 SPRING MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Saturday, April 20)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Joel Rosario 75 26 9 7 $927,611
Julien Leparoux 69 13 12 8 $1,356,231
Rosie Napravnik 61 9 13 8 $522,300
Alan Garcia 34 7 3 2 $393,860
Javier Castellano 26 6 3 3 $344,056
Edgar Prado 25 5 3 3 $288,933
Shaun Bridgmohan 49 4 5 8 $235,788
Jesus Castanon 29 4 3 3 $138,283
Corey Lanerie 68 3 12 12 $277,641
Robby Albarado 25 3 4 2 $133,085
Joseph Rocco Jr. 33 3 2 3 $186,515
Roberto Morales 27 3 2 1 $ 77,438
Gary Stevens 21 3 1 2 $124,357
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael Maker 54 15 8 4 $459,802
Wesley Ward 32 8 5 3 $275,227
Ken McPeek 30 6 4 2 $677,702
H. Graham Motion 22 5 4 3 $358,919
Shug McGaughey 12 4 2 2 $245,222
Mark Casse 28 4 2 1 $173,640
Todd Pletcher 9 4 1 2 $484,948
Jonathan Sheppard 10 4 1 0 $141,416
George Arnold II 20 3 1 2 $313,592
Current Meet Leading Owners
Ken and Sarah Ramsey 15
Augustin Stable (George Strawbridge Jr.) 6
Gary Barber* 3
Phipps Stable (O.M. Phipps, et al) 3
Alto Racing (Gil Moutray) 2
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. 2
Ice Wine Stable (David Reid) 2
Magdalena Racing (Susan McPeek, et al) 2
Team Valor International (Barry Irwin) 2