Defending Champion War Like Goddess Tops 20 Nominees to Closing-Day Bewitch
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2021, will make her 2022 debut Friday when she headlines a field of six fillies and mares for the 27th running of the $300,000 Baird Doubledogdare (G3) going a mile and a sixteenth on the main track at Keeneland.
The Baird Doubledogdare will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:16 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.
Trained by four-time race winner Todd Pletcher, Malathaat compiled a 5-3-1-1 record last year highlighted by Grade 1 victories in the Central Bank Ashland, Kentucky Oaks and Alabama.
John Velazquez, who has won this race five times including all four of Pletcher’s victories, has the mount Friday and will break from post one.
Also making her 2022 debut is defending champion Bonny South.
Owned by Juddmonte and trained by Brad Cox, Bonny South is seeking to become the first horse to win the Baird Doubledogdare in consecutive years. Four times graded stakes-placed in 2021, Bonny South will break from post four and be ridden by Florent Geroux.
The field for the Baird Doubledogdare, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Malathaat (Velazquez, 118 pounds), Super Quick (Joe Talamo, 120), Audrey’s Time (Corey Lanerie, 118), Bonny South (Geroux, 118), Crazy Beautiful (Brian Hernandez Jr., 120) and Lady Mystify (Flavien Prat, 118).
Defending Champion War Like Goddess Tops 20 Nominees To Closing-Day Bewitch
George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess, a finalist for the Eclipse Award as North America’s champion turf female of 2021, headlines a roster of 20 fillies and mares nominated to the 60th running of the $300,000 Bewitch (G3).
Slated for a mile and a half on the turf, the Bewitch will be run Friday, April 29 as the closing-day highlight of the 15-day Spring Meet. Entries for the race will be taken Sunday.
Trained by Bill Mott, War Like Goddess won four graded stakes in 2021 and closed the year with a third-place finish beaten a half-length as the favorite in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Del Mar.
Other nominations of note include Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and TOLO Thoroughbreds’ Queen Goddess, winner of the American Oaks (G1) in December and most recently the Santa Ana (G3) at Santa Anita, and Hunter Valley Farm, Debra O’Connor and Marc Detampel’s Family Way, winner of the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park on April 2.
Trainer Cherie DeVaux said there is no timeline for a return to the races for Tarabi, who had her first work of the spring Saturday, going 3 furlongs in :36.40. Owned by the partnership of LBD Stable, Manganaro Bloodstock and David Ingordo, Tarabi finished third in the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last November at Del Mar in her most recent start.
“She’s still eligible for her first (allowance) condition,” DeVaux said. “We are looking for something late spring or early summer.”
Probable Fields For April 23 Stakes
Entries taken Wednesday.
$350,000 ELKHORN (G2): Another Mystery (trainer Chris Block), Phantom Currency (Brian Lynch), Two Emmys (Mac Robertson). Possible: Bama Breeze (Rusty Arnold), Cellist (Arnold), Cullum Road (Doug Danner).
$300,000 BEN ALI (G3): Mighty Heart (Josie Carroll), Proxy (Mike Stidham), Scalding (Shug McGaughey). Possible: Dynamic One (Todd Pletcher), Harvard (Rodolphe Brisset), Title Ready (Dallas Stewart).
Spring Meet Week 3 Special Events
Official Keeneland Tours. Visit keeneland.com/tours for availability and to purchase.
WINS-Day Challenge Sponsored by Malone’s. This is an inexpensive way for beginner handicappers to give contests a try. Enter for $10 at Wagering Central on the first floor of the Grandstand and place a mythical $2 win and place wager – no actual money required – on Keeneland races 3-8.
Every Friday and Saturday
The Hill. No ticket or reservation is required for Keeneland’s popular free tailgating area on The Hill, which is open Fridays and Saturdays and offers a unique way to experience the Spring Meet. Fans on The Hill can participate in the racing action via a jumbo TV and wagering, while food trucks and live music presented by The Burl create a festive atmosphere. Those who wish to elevate their tailgating experience can book a premium package that includes tent, tables, amenities, reserved area for the day and more with the Tailgate Guys “A REVELxp Company.” Visit Keeneland.com/tailgating for details.
Friday, April 22
Spring Handicapping Challenge. Available only at the track, the Spring Handicapping Challenge offers one berth to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) in November at Keeneland and as many as four spots to the 2023 National Handicapping Challenge. (NHC). Players will wager a live
bankroll of $250 on any or all of the races at Keeneland. Click here to register and for more information. Contestants may enter until 12:45 p.m. the day of the contest.
Saturday, April 23
Sunrise Trackside. This morning program is geared toward families and offers a unique view of Thoroughbreds during training hours. Children’s activities, located on the first-floor Grandstand from 8-10 a.m., include a meet and greet with Keeneland’s mascot, Buckles, along with face painting, games and more. Fans can enjoy coffee and donuts at Clockers Corner while watching horses train. Mini tours are available at the Welcome Stand in the Paddock. A 30-minute demonstration in the Walking Ring begins at 8:30 a.m..
Grade 1 Gamble. The signature handicapping contest of the Spring Meet is the Grade 1 Gamble, which Keeneland is hosting in cooperation with XpressBet, NYRABets, 4NJ Bets and TVG on the day of the Elkhorn (G2) and Ben Ali (G3). The entry fee is $3,500 with $2,500 going to a live bankroll and $1,000 to the prize fund. Contestants may play at Keeneland or on one of the aforementioned ADW platforms; Keeneland also will accept phone wagers from players residing in states or provinces that do not permit ADW wagering. Prizes include an estimated $75,000 for first place (based on 300 entries) and as many as six Breeders’ Cup Betting Contest berths and 10 National Handicapping Championship spots. Click here to register.
Sunday, April 24
Military Day at the Races. This event recognizes the men and women who serve our country. All active duty, reserve, veterans and military families receive free general admission and reserved Grandstand seating with a military I.D.
SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through April 16 (7 days of 15-day season)
|Irad Ortiz Jr.||45||9||13||5||$1,709,502|
Brendan Walsh 13 4 2 0 $409,021
|Godolphin (Mohammed Al Maktoum et al)||3|
|Stonestreet Stables (Barbara Banke)||3|
|Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley)||2|
Keeneland Barn Notes