Keeneland's Bewitch Stakes Results and Payouts for 4/29/22

War Like Goddess wins the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes. (Keeneland photo/Photo by Z)
Bewitch Stakes ResultsPayoffs - Win Place Show
1War Like Goddess - $2.40; $2.10; $2.10
2Family Way - $2.20; $2.10
3 Core Values - $2.80

War Like Goddess Defends Her Title in Bewitch Stakes

Making her 2022 debut, George Krikorian’s Grade 1 winner War Like Goddess surged between Breeze Rider and Family Way to take the lead and post a 1¾-length victory in the 60th running of the $300,000 Bewitch Stakes (G3) on April 29, closing day of Keeneland’s 15-day Spring Meet.

Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Joel Rosario, War Like Goddess won the 1½-mile race on a turf course labeled firm in 2:31.26 and became the first horse to win the Bewitch in consecutive years.

“I was concerned about how much pace there would or would not be in the race, and there wasn’t any,” Mott said. “Actually, I’m not so sure I’ve been in a race on firm turf that was any slower than this, so it was quite a challenge for (jockey Joel Rosario) to keep her in behind those horses and wait until they turned for home. You’d like a half in 50 (seconds) anyway, and it was 53 and change, so very slow first half and three-quarters. I think the filly overcame it. I think Joel did well with the way it didn’t set up for us, and the filly was good enough to win.”

War Like Goddess’ Bewitch victory last year was the second in a string of four consecutive graded stakes triumphs during a campaign included a victory in the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) last September and concluded with a narrow third-place defeat as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Del Mar.

“She’s amazing. She’s a really nice horse,” Rosario said. “Thanks to (trainer) Billy (Mott) and (owner) George (Krikorian) for the opportunity.”

The victory was worth $186,000 to War Like Goddess, who surpassed $1 million in career earnings ($1,079,684) with seven wins in nine races. A Keeneland sales graduate bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, the 5-year-old daughter of English Channel is out of Misty North, by North Light (IRE).

“I think she’s as good (as last year). I can’t see a difference,” Mott said. “I think the race today is a pretty good indicator as far as that we have a good start. Things change as the year progresses, but hopefully she’ll maintain the form that she’s got now.”

The 1-5 favorite, War Like Goddess paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Family Way, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, ran second and returned $2.20 and $2.10. Core Values was another length back in third under Rafael Bejarano and paid $2.80.

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