Lewis Bay made her stakes debut against two stakes winners and two other fillies with graded stakes experience in the $300,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 28 at Aqueduct Racetrack and the daughter of Bernardini proved up to the challenge.
After saving ground early under Irad Ortiz Jr. in the 1 1/8-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, Alpha Delta Stables homebred Lewis Bay swung wide off the turn, rallied in the center of the track, and seized the lead in early stretch on her way to a 1 3/4-length victory.
After finishing second to Wave of Glory Sept. 13 in a six-furlong maiden race in the mud at Belmont Park | BloodHorse.com Track Profile">Belmont Park, Lewis Bay dominated her second start, winning a seven-furlong test on a fast Belmont surface by six lengths.
Trainer Chad Brown opted to both stretch out and step up to graded stakes with Lewis Bay in the Demoiselle and she delivered. Lewis Bay tracked from the inside in fourth while stakes-winning Repole Stable homebred Lost Raven completed a half-mile in :50.04. Lost Raven would be challenged in the turn by her Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Thrilled and longshot Disco Rose to the outside as those three fillies lined up across the track through six furlongs in 1:14.86.
At that point Lewis Bay was angling outside and she delivered her best run in the middle of the track, powering through the stretch to complete 1 1/8 miles in 1:53.41 on a fast track.
"Irad rode her really well. I was concerned on the backside, when they were stacked up outside her, that she would never get out," Brown said. "Irad explained to me afterward he just eased his way back and around everyone. He was forced to go wider than he wanted to, but she really finished good. The last sixteenth of a mile, she lost her competitiveness being in front and out in the center of the track.
"He said she really lost focus, but was just being green. He said she's better with a target, but she passed the two-turn test, at least."
Ortiz said Lewis Bay accelerated well when it was needed.
"Turning for home I sent her out and she really went fast," Ortiz said. "When she got the lead, she was a little green. I think she was waiting for company. She went out a few paths because she changed leads a little early, but I felt I had a lot of horse, so I felt comfortable taking her wide. She was ready today and I don't think she showed everything she has, because she was a little green, and when she felt somebody beside her, she picked it up."
The Demoiselle is an early points race for next year's Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Lewis Bay earned 10 points with the win. Michael Tabor's Thrilled picked up four for second, Glenn Bennett's Disco Rose earned two for third, and Coffeepot Stables' Flora Dora secured one for fourth.
Even-money favorite Lewis Bay paid $4.10, $2.80, and $2.70 across the board, while Thrilled returned $4.10 and $3.40. Disco Rose paid $9.20 to show.