Thursday, April 22, 2010
Lady Shakespeare's victory in the $150,000 Grey Goose Bewitch S. (G3T) on Apr. 22 was especially sweet for Darby Dan Farm, where the 4-year-old filly was foaled and raised. The 12 furlong turf marathon was being contested for the 49th time at the historic Lexington, Ky. Track.
The Bewitch turned out to be run very much like a European turf race when Changing Skies (IRE) was allowed to set very slow fractions of 1:18 1/5 for six furlongs and 1:43 2/5 for the mile, at which point Lady Shakespeare was just a length off the leader. Patiently handled by John Velazquez, the eventual winner didn't pass the pacesetter until the final sixteenth of a mile, drawing clear to win by 2 1/2-lengths.
Lady Shakespeare may have found a home in the turf marathon division. In her two previous starts this season, she missed by a head in both the Jan. 16 Marshua’s River S. and Mar. 28 Orchid S. (G3), the latter at 12 furlongs. As a 3-year-old, the chestnut filly won four of six starts, including the Ontario Colleen S. at Woodbine.
Lady Shakespeare has always been well-regarded due to her similarly-named older full brother, Shakespeare (by Theatrical). He was one of the most dominant turf horses of the past decade, winning seven of eight starts, earning nearly $1.3 million, and setting a nine furlong track record on the grass at Belmont Park.
Besides the “Shakespeares”, their dam, Lady Shirl has also produced the stakes-winning filly Fantastic Shirl. Lady Shirl was a winning machine, taking nine stakes in her career, topped by the Grade 1 Flower Bowl.
With the Bewitch win, Lady Shakespeare upped her earnings to $405,608 for owner/breeder Charles Fipke. Her record now stands at 6-2-1 from 11 career starts.