ELMONT, NY – Alpha Delta Stables’ homebred Lewis Bay looked lovely as ever on Friday after streaking away with ease from her four female foes to crush the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed o’ Roses Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
After slightly bobbling from the middle gate under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Lewis Bay quickly recovered and ran up along the outside of Divine Miss Grey, tracking her closely through opening fractions of :22.63 and :45.32. Beginning to poke her nose in front midway through the far turn, Lewis Bay continued cruising under a patient ride before straightening for home with a 2-length lead. Given a shake of the reins with 1 1/2 furlongs to go, Lewis Bay responded well and drew off convincingly. The Chad Brown trainee hit the wire first by 5 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:21.11 for the 7-furlong main track sprint.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “She broke good and got good position. I loved my post position. When I talked to Chad before the race, I told him I love the post because she’s always breaking from the inside. She appreciated the outside post. Everything went perfect.”
Highway Star was able to move up in the stretch to take second by 1 1/4 lengths over Cairenn, with the same distance back to a fading Divine Miss Grey. The 4-5 favorite American Gal never looked comfortable after brushing the side of her stall when the gates opened and finished fifth. Chalon, Union Strike, and Ivy Bell (cross-entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes) were scratched.
Lewis Bay’s win was her fifth graded stakes score and improved her overall record to 15-6-5-3, including 4-2-2-0 at Belmont Park. With the winner’s share of $137,500, the 5-year-old daughter of Bernardini crested millionaire status, pushing her career bankroll to $1,102,060.
“She’s had two hard races in Grade 1s where she’s run very credible,” Brown said. “Last time at Churchill, on that sealed track, she came out of there with a quarter crack in her right front foot. I’m not saying she would’ve won, but it definitely was a legitimate injury coming out of there, and it took her a while to recover and get it together. We breezed her a couple of times and she seemed to be ready to go back in the entry box. She’s very fit and she loves Belmont.”
Lewis Bay returned $8.20 to win, $4.30 to place, and $4 to show. Highway Star brought back $5.10 to place and $5.70 to show, while Cairenn paid $9.30 to show.