04/25/2006 11:00PM

Noble Stella wires Bewitch

Pat Lang
Noble Stella and Edgar Prado win the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland on Wednesday.

Capitalizing on a dawdling pace, favored Noble Stella was able to turn back stretch bids from Louve Royale and Sweet Science to win the Grade 3, $107,400 before 8,950 fans at Keeneland on Wednesday.

Under restraint from Edgar Prado, Noble Stella went to the front and set fractions of 27.81 seconds, 53.37, 1:19.49, and 1:45.28 in the 1 1/2-mile Bewitch, essentially turning the marathon turf race into a half-mile sprint. Noble Stella then took full advantage, turning back midstretch bids from Louve Royale and Sweet Science to win by a half-length over Louve Royal, with Sweet Science a half-length back in third.

Noble Stella ($3.40), a German-bred daughter of Monsun owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Roger Attfield, raced 1 1/2 miles on a firm course in 2:33.15.