The weather conditions that hit Belmont Park May 13 were not unlike what Hawksmoor often faced in her native land. Fittingly enough, the Irish-bred daughter of Azamour (IRE) channeled her prior European form when she led every point of call, including the final bob over grade 1 winner Dacita, to take the $150,000 Beaugay Stakes (G3T) and earn her first North American-based victory.
With rain soaking the area, the 1 1/16 miles Beaugay was moved from the inner turf to the Widener turf, and also lost a couple key contenders when both multiple grade 1 winner Miss Temple City and grade 2 winner On Leave scratched rather than race over the yielding ground.
The soft going was of no issue for Lael Stables' Hawksmoor, who was a multiple group winner in both England and Germany before making her stateside debut last October. The bay filly broke on top under Julien Leparoux and never looked back, cutting fractions of :25.45 and :51.20 with All in Fun rating second as they took the six-horse lineup down the backside.
"She was very comfortable on (the yielding turf)," Leparoux said. "I was confident about that. But it was a good bunch of fillies behind her. I was expecting the closer (Dacita) to come, and she fought them back."
Even without Miss Temple City in the field, it indeed was a salty bunch trying to come at Hawksmoor once she settled in for the stretch run. Grade 1 winner Time and Motion—who was wearing blinkers for the first time—ranged up three-wide on the turn and appeared to have the pacesetter in her sights. That one could not get any closer that up to Hawksmoor's hip in deep stretch, however, and the late outside surge from race favorite Dacita in the final strides was too little too late. Hawksmoor held by a head, hitting the wire in 1:48.91.
"I was kind of hoping we could have soft turf and obviously the weather was with us. I told Julien I didn't think there was that much speed," said trainer Arnaud Delacour. "She's obviously has run very well on the soft before in that kind of way (forwardly placed), so we were trying to do the same thing today.
"Towards the finish, Dacita came on like she was going to pass us, but our filly is a little deceiving. She was kind of looking around a little bit, that's why she had blinkers, but she kept coming and she tried hard. I was real pleased with that. I was very happy she put on a good performance off the layoff. She's had been breezing very well."
Bred by Tenuta Genzianella, Hawksmoor paid $9.60, $5, and $3 across the board as she improved her record to four wins from 12 career starts with $418,739 in earnings. In her U.S. debut, she ran third to Time and Motion in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End (G1T) last October, then was sixth in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2T) last November after sitting midpack throughout that test.
"I'll have to see how she comes back," Delacour said of a possible next start in the $500,000 New York Stakes (G2T) June 9. "For sure we'll and see what makes sense. She's a pretty versatile filly in regards to distance. In Europe she's run well from seven furlongs to a mile and an eighth or even longer. So, we've got options."
Hawksmoor was purchased by Amanda Skiffington for $102,792 at the 2014 Tattersalls Ireland September yearling sale.