Lewis Bay scores easy Gazelle victory
With Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, Lewis Bay tracked in third through the opening half-mile set by 9-5 second favorite Clair de Lune. That filly reeled off splits of :23.93 and :48.67 over the muddy, sealed track while tracked by Mo d’Amour to her outside.
Meanwhile, Lewis Bay and Oritz were cruising on the outside and began moving forward nearing the final turn. The bay daughter of Bernardini easily sailed past her rivals and opened up by 3 1/2 lengths in the lane before Oritz geared her down well before the wire.
Lewis Bay ended up beating the rallying Royal Obsession by 1 1/2 lengths while stopping the clock in 1:52.60 for nine furlongs. She returned $5.50 as the 8-5 favorite and added another 100 points to bring her total for a berth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) to 130.
Mo d’Amour followed in third by another seven lengths while Dreams to Reality, Flora Dora and Clair de Lune completed the order under the wire.
Lewis Bay began her career with a runner-up effort at Belmont Park last September sprinting six furlongs over a muddy, sealed track. She romped by six lengths next out at Big Sandy before closing out her juvenile campaign for trainer Chad Brown with a 1 3/4-length score in the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct going the Oaks distance of 1 1/8 miles.
The Kentucky-bred Lewis Bay returned to action on February 27 in the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park, but was a distant second on that occasion. This return to the winner’s circle boosted her earnings to $459,600 and her line now stands at 5-3-2-0.
Brown indicated Lewis Bay would have at least two works at Churchill Downs prior to the Kentucky Oaks.
Lewis Bay is out of the Grade 3-winning Summer Squall mare Summer Raven, making her a half-sister to Grade 3 victors Winslow Homer and Misconnect. Her female family also boasts Grade 1-winning millionaire and sire Wild Rush.
Lewis Bay photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography
Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey Lewis Bay, winner: "I didn't want to make the lead too early. She passes horses on her own. I looked around and nobody was coming (so I grabbed her late). If she saw somebody she would go."
Chad Brown, trainer Lewis Bay, winner: "It was her day today. We set this plan up after (she won the) Demoiselle to give her one start in the Davona Dale and then the Gazelle; very rarely when you make a plan with horses long term does it work out. With her it has, because she's such an honest, consistent, sound filly. When you have a horse like that in your barn you can keep a schedule."