04/21/2010 11:00PM

Lady Shakespeare gets breakthrough win


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lady Shakespeare powered past front-running Changing Skies in the final furlong to post her first graded stakes victory Thursday in the 49th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland.

With John Velazquez riding for trainer Roger Attfield, Lady Shakespeare had good position throughout the 1 1/2-mile turf race before prevailing by 2 1/2 lengths and returning $5.60 as the favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares in the Bewitch. Lady Shakespeare finished in 2:31.42 over a firm course.

Changing Skies, with Kent Desormeaux up, easily held second, another two lengths before Sweet and Lawless. Then came Magical Theater, Floating Heart, A She's Adorable, Nehantic Kat.

Lady Shakespeare, bred and owned by Charles Fipke, is by Theatrical out of the millionaire mare Lady Shirl. She was coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes in turf stakes at Gulfstream Park, being narrowly beaten in both.

"She was very unlucky this winter," said Attfield. "She'll win a Grade 1 before the year is over."

The 15-day Keeneland spring meet ends Friday with the male counterpart to the Bewitch, the Grade 2, $200,000 Elkhorn Stakes. Churchill Downs starts its 42-day spring meet Saturday.