04/28/2017 5:34PM

Quiet Business wins Bewitch Stakes on closing day

Coady Photography
Quiet Business returned $34.20 in winning the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – It helps to be lucky – but it doesn’t hurt to be good, either.

Trainer Rusty Arnold readily acknowledged Friday after Quiet Business won the final stakes of the Keeneland spring meet, the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes, that fate played a role in victory.

“It was one of those lucky things,” Arnold said. Quiet Business, at 16-1 the longest shot in a cast of five fillies and mares, got a perfectly timed ride from Brian Hernandez Jr. in putting forth the best effort of her career in collaring Daring Duchess for a one-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

Arnold explained that after a second-level allowance failed to fill earlier in the week for Quiet Business, a 4-year-old Calumet Farm homebred, he was asked by the Keeneland racing office to supplement the filly to the $150,000 Bewitch, which was shaping up with a short lineup for its 56th running.

“We did, and this is what happened,” Arnold said. “And we’re really happy about it.”

Before a closing-day crowd of 18,057, Quiet Business settled in the back as Daring Duchess loped along in splits of 25.64, 50.16, and 1:15.10. Earring, the 4-5 favorite, was always in attendance while closely tracking Daring Duchess, but she was out of gas at the quarter-pole. So as the field wheeled home, Daring Duchess found herself on an open lead under Julien Leparoux – but then here came Quiet Business to run her down in 2:31.50 over the firm course.

Dyna’s Recoleta was along to be third, another 6 3/4 lengths back, and was followed in order by Inchargeoftime and Earring.

Quiet Business, a dark bay filly by Quiet American, now has won 3 of 11 career starts. She returned $34.20 to her scattered backers.

“The thing was to get her into a nice rhythm and have her run the last three-eighths of a mile,” Hernandez said. “It worked out for us.”

Fittingly, Calumet was the owner of the race namesake, Bewitch, a star filly whose brilliant career ended in 1951. Located adjacent to the Keeneland property, Calumet has endured difficult times since its glory days, but has been enjoying a resurgence in recent times under the direction of Brad Kelley, the reclusive southern Kentucky businessman who purchased the historic farm in 2012.

Earlier Friday, the complexion of the Bewitch was dramatically altered when Arles, the 4-5 morning-line favorite, was scratched.

Arles, trained by Graham Motion, had “fluid in her left front pastern” when examined Friday morning, said Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor International, which co-owns the 5-year-old mare in partnership with Green Lantern Stables. “She X-rayed clean and will have soft tissue scanned in the next couple of days.”

The $2 exacta (5-2) paid $139.40 and the $1 trifecta (5-2-3) returned $173.50.

With another eventful Keeneland meet in the books, action on the Kentucky circuit moves Saturday night to Churchill Downs, where a Downs After Dark card opens a 38-day spring meet.