Olorda is not always the easiest filly to get along with.
Trainer Chad Brown used the words “difficult” and “headstrong” when describing the daughter of Lord of England after Friday’s Grade III, $150,000 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland. But in the right hands, Olorda can also be extremely effective, something jockey Julien Leparoux demonstrated once more in the 1 1/2 -mile turf race.
In their second pairing together, Leparoux let Olorda have her way on the front end and got another top-notch result, holding off a late run from Al’s Gal to win the Bewitch by half a length.
Friday’s race was almost identical to their outing in the Grade III The Very One Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 5 where Olorda headed every point of call to defeat her Grade I-winning stablemate Dacita. Her front-running style is a relatively new dimension for the 4-year-old filly as she had sat well off the pace in her prior starts.
“I think they both earned (the victory), horse and jockey,” Brown said. “They were honest fractions, but knowing this filly, she can be difficult. A big part of her success is getting Julien on her. Putting her in the front in her races and having him ride her … they’re a great combination.
“We did that in her last race ... and it worked out. Asking a mile and a half of her was a lot today, but Julien carved out decent fractions, knowing how headstrong this particular horse can be. He just executed it perfectly, and the filly ran a huge race.”
Sent off at 3-1 odds out of post No. 8, Olorda went the opening half-mile in :49.27 over a course rated firm as she and Annulment opened up about 9 lengths on the rest of the 10-horse field going past the stands for the first time. Leparoux took a peek back at his competition just before reaching the far turn then urged her home with a few right-handed taps en route to hitting the wire in 2:30.09.
Al’s Gal got up for second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of 5-2 favorite Songoficeandfire.
Owned by Martin Schwartz, Olorda made her first five starts in Germany and France before finishing 11th in the Grade I Belmont Oaks Invitational in her stateside debut at Belmont Park last July. A Group III winner in France, Olorda improved her record to four wins from 10 starts with $290,447 in earnings.