04/29/2016 6:10PM

Olorda settles down to win Bewitch Stakes

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Olorda looked as if she wanted to run off while leading through the opening furlongs of the Bewitch Stakes, but the filly soon leveled out and had enough left to register her second straight Grade 3 victory Friday.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Olorda turned back Annulment before finishing a half-length ahead of a late-closing Al’s Gal in the 55th running of the $150,000 Bewitch, the closing-day feature of the 16-day spring meet at Keeneland.

“This filly is really strong,” said Leparoux. “I tried to get her to relax, and she did. She just ran to the end.”

Olorda, a German-bred 4-year-old, was coming off a front-running triumph in the Grade 3 The Very One at Gulfstream Park. She surged to the front entering the first of three turns in the 1 1/2-mile Bewitch, and only Annulment was within hailing distance as they opened about 10 lengths on the rest of the field.

“We’ve changed her style, and it’s made a difference,” said Chad Brown, who trains Olorda for Martin Schwartz. “Julien did a terrific job of getting her to relax.”

Olorda returned $8.60 as the second choice in a field of 10 fillies and mares after finishing in 2:30.09 over a firm course. The bay filly began her career at 2 in Germany before being imported by Schwartz from France last spring.

After the top two, the order was Songoficeandfire, Annulment, Achnaha, Street of Gold, Generosidade, Button Down, Personal Diary, and Return to Grace. Miss Chatelaine and Goodyearforroses were early scratches.

The $2 exacta (8-12) paid $71.40, the $1 trifecta (8-12-5) returned $143.20, and the 10-cent superfecta (8-12-5-4) was worth $177.61.

Attendance on a breezy, cool spring afternoon was 18,030.

The meet ended with Ken and Sarah Ramsey as leading owners for a record-extending 17th time, Mike Maker as leading trainer for the fourth time, and Javier Castellano as top jockey for the second time.

Business figures for a meet that began April 8 will be up shortly elsewhere here on www.drf.com. Action on the Kentucky circuit moves tomorrow night to Churchill Downs for the start of their 38-day spring meet.