Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. won the two graded stakes on the Oct. 29 Belmont Park card when he guided Lewis Bay to an easy victory in the $200,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) and Stallwalkin' Dude to a clear win in the $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III).
Ortiz enjoyed some variety in the victories, as Lewis Bay led at every call before drawing off to a 5 1/2-length score in the 1 1/16-mile Turnback the Alarm, while Stallwalkin' Dude rallied from fifth to take the seven-furlong Bold Ruler.
Sent off the 2-5 favorite, Alpha Delta Stables Lewis Bay completed the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:42.09 on the fast track, as the 3-year-old Bernardini filly secured her second graded stakes win this season and third overall. Watch Video
"That was a little bit of a different running style for her. I left it up to Irad in the paddock. She's been a horse that's had such a good season, yet we're still trying to figure out some things about her," said winning trainer Chad Brown. "(During) a couple of races, she moved to her left lead in the lane and waited on horses when she made the lead. It seems she has a lot of natural ability but she's not quite a finished product yet.
"Today, Irad took a chance and went to the lead and said she relaxed beautifully, and that was the best she's really traveled and best she's finished with that setup so it all worked out."
In his 46th start, Head of Plains Partners and David Jacobson's Stallwalkin' Dude secured what had been an elusive first graded stakes win. The 6-year-old City Place gelding, who previously had won three stakes and twice earned grade I placings, completed the seven furlongs in 1:21.66 as the 121-pound highweight. Watch Video
"That was a great race. It was exactly the way we planned it in the paddock and Irad just did a great job," Jacobson said. "I didn't realize it (was Stallwalkin' Dude's first graded stakes) until I read it in the papers. He's won so many races for us and he's been competing against some of the really good horses, and he's a millionaire now. It's great."