Alpha Delta Stable’s homebred Lewis Bay turned Saturday’s $300,000 Gazelle (G2) at Aqueduct into a paid workout when posting an easy 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
The pair bided their time in third as Clair de Lune set splits of of :23.93 and :48.67 through the opening half-mile. Lewis Bay glided up to that one’s outside nearing the turn and had firm control of the race in the lane.
Ortiz started pulling up on the Chad Brown trainee well before the wire, allowing the closing Royal Obsession to draw within 1 1/2 lengths on the line. Lewis Bay finished nine furlongs over the muddy, sealed track in 1:52.60.
Lewis Bay now sits in third on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard after being awarded 100 points toward a starting berth in that Grade 1 contest in the Gazelle, which is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races.
Brown indicated Lewis Bay would have at least two works at Churchill Downs prior to the Kentucky Oaks.
Royal Obsession earned 40 points to take up the 12th spot on the Oaks leaderboard, while Mo d’Amour resides in eighth when adding 20 points to her total for third. Dreams to Reality rounded out the top four in the Gazelle and earned 10 points.
Lewis Bay also boasts a win in last year’s Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct going the Kentucky Oaks distance of 1 1/8 miles, and was second last out in the Davona Dale (G2) while making her sophomore bow. She improved her record to read 5-3-2-0 on Saturday and has banked $459,600 lifetime.
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.
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."