The high-quality racing action continues at Keeneland this weekend, as the G3 Bewitch Stakes is set to take place. This race will see a field of fillies and mares compete over a distance of 1 ½ miles on the turf, with a purse of $300,000 up for grabs. A familiar name will be at the top of the betting, as War Like Goddess chases a historic fourth straight victory in the race.

Race Information & History

The G3 Bewitch Stakes has been staged at Keeneland annually since 1962, with a field of fillies and mares competing over a distance of 1 ½ miles for a share of the $300,000 purse. This Grade Three has produced some historic moments throughout history, with another of fillies running in the race prior to competing in the Kentucky Oaks throughout its early history.

However, it has been run on the turf since 1985, and the distance was also increased to its current trip in 1995. William Mott has been the dominant trainer in the Bewitch, landing six victories between 1984 and 2023. Three of his wins have come with War Like Goddess, who is already the most successful runner in the history of the race. The seven-year-old is chasing a fourth straight victory in the Bewitch on Friday.

Leading Contenders

War Like Goddess

It would be challenging to start anywhere else when considering the leading contenders this weekend than the three-time defending champion in the Bewitch. War Like Goddess has been an excellent runner for connections throughout her career, scoring victories in eleven of her 18 career starts.

In fact, she has only finished outside of the top three on just three appearances. The seven-year-old will be making her seasonal reappearance once again in the Bewitch this weekend after finishing seventh in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf last year. But, her form in the book remains high quality after scoring in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last season.


Vergara will represent the Graham Motion yard in the Bewitch this weekend. The five-year-old has won four from her 15 career starts, but she looked largely progressive throughout last year. But, she is yet to make her presence felt in graded company.

She was only third in the G3 Long Island Stakes on her final start last season, while she was also well back in the field in both the G3 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes and G2 Glens Falls Stakes. Her only success last season was scored in the G3 Ladies Marathon Stakes, and a massive improvement on that form is required to challenge War Like Goddess on Friday.

Lovely Princess

Lovely Princess could be one of the most interesting contenders in the field this weekend for trainer Kenneth McPeek. The five-year-old has won four from 15 career starts to date, but she comes into this weekend with a run under her belt this season after finishing third in the Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds.

She will need to come on plenty from that run to feature in this race on Friday, but she does have bits of Keeneland form that make her appealing. That includes a success in an allowance race last April, but she was firmly put in her place when only fourth in the G3 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes in October.

Bewitch Stakes Prediction

War Like Goddess is clearly the classiest runner in this field, and she will be incredibly hard to beat based on her high-quality form. Chop Chop could be an interesting selection in Exactas, having won once from three already this season, which includes a very eye-catching speed figure when scoring in the Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway Park.

Pick: War Like Goddess

Exacta: War Like Goddess/Chop Chop