Five races after he guided Soi Phet to victory in the E.B. Johnston Stakes, Desormeaux once again found himself on a speedy leader late in the six-furlong Beverly J. Lewis against heavily favored graded winner Faypien.
But even after setting speedy fractions of :21.45 and :44.56 at odds of 6-1, the 3-year-old Stay Thirsty filly trained by Jeff Bonde had enough late to turn away all challengers and win by a 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:09.11.
"We had an uneventful trip," Desormeaux said. "(Bonde's) horses always come out of there like Quarter Horses and that's what she did today. She was strong all the way to the wire.''
Faypien, the last-out Longines Test Stakes (G1) runner-up and Summertime Oaks (G2) winner, stalked the early pace in fourth, but lacked a late punch to challenge the leader late. Chalon made a wide move from fifth early and loomed in the stretch, but was just outfinished by a head at the wire for second by Faypien.
Princess Karen, owned by Bonde, Edward Brown Jr., and Karen Norton, turned the tables on the Bob Baffert-trained Faypien, who defeated her in the in the Angels Flight Stakes May 14 at Santa Anita Park. While Faypien took the next step to graded stakes winner after the Angels Flight, Princess Karen got a rest and trained up to the Lewis.
"She had trained very well for this," Bonde said. "There was a lot of speed and she has a lot of natural speed, and that's why I wanted to go to Kent. Mike (Smith) usually rides her, but he's off right now, so I told Kent just ride a smart race and he did."
Bred in Kentucky by Bell Tower Thoroughbreds, out of the Jade Hunter mare Chitka, Princess Karen now has three wins from six starts and pushed her earnings to $120,705 with her first stakes victory. Princess Karen was a $82,000 purchase out of the 2016 Barretts July paddock sale at Del Mar.