Hawksmoor Makes All the Running in New York Stakes

In case the memo was missed the first time around, let it be known that Hawksmoor alone on the lead is not a scenario that ends well for others.

The second graded stakes victory in North America for the daughter of Azamour was earned in identical fashion as her first one month ago. Left untouched on the front end with jockey Julien Leparoux artfully working the fractions, Lael Stables' Hawksmoor had more than enough in reserve when she hit the lane and drew clear for a one-length triumph over Quidura in the $500,000 New York Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2T) at Belmont Park June 9.

In her seasonal bow last month and third stateside start since coming over from Europe, Hawksmoor was allowed to canter through tepid fractions and hold strong for a head victory over Dacita in the Beaugay Stakes (G3T) over the Belmont Park course. The bay filly was more than amenable to providing a replay of that outing in the 1 1/4-mile New York Stakes, breaking on top in the eight-horse field and throwing down the gauntlet early on as she held a 2 1/2 length advantage over Quidura through the opening quarter in :24.27.

With no challengers within three lengths of Hawksmoor as she hit the half-mile mark in :49.72, Leparoux had the comfort of knowing there was more to be called upon when Suffused tried to make a bid along the hedge with Quidura advancing three wide into upper stretch.

There would be no catching the 4-year-old filly who was a group winner in both England and Germany as Hawksmoor hit the line in 2:01.18 to complete the 11-1 upset over a course rated firm.

"I wasn't surprised when they left her alone out there," said winning trainer Arnaud Delacour. "I got a little worried when I saw the opening quarter because it looked like she was pulling a little bit, but when I saw the time at the half-mile pole...I was very happy. I knew they were going to have to come and get her and she did good. She proved today that she can run with an efficient turn of foot on firm turf, which was the question mark so we're very delighted."  

Hawksmoor flaunted promise in her first U.S.-based start when she finished third, beaten just a head and a nose, in a blanket finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Lane's End (G1T) at Keeneland last October. The bay filly rated midpack and never got running during a sixth-place effort next time out in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2T) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25. But if her last two starts are any indication, her current running style is one that can carry her as far as asked.

"She proved today that she can go a mile and a quarter. I think she can go even longer if we need to, so she's very versatile with distance and how the track is," Leparoux said.

Quidura was 1 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Kitten's Roar with Sea Calisi and Suffused completing the top five. Grade 1 winner Dacita, last in the eight-horse field coming into the stretch, could do no better than sixth with Apple Betty and Summersault rounding out the order of finish. Sassy Little Lila was a scratch.

Bred by Tenuta Genzianella and out of the Danehill Dancer mare Bridle Dance, Hawksmoor has now won five of 13 career starts with $693,739 in earnings. She was purchased by Amanda Skiffington for $102,792 at the 2014 Tattersalls Ireland September yearling sale and paid out $25.40, $11.80, and $8.10 across the board Friday.