Alpha Delta Stables' homebred multiple graded-stakes winner Lewis Bay enjoyed a patient, stalking trip under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. to win the $250,000 Bed o' Roses Invitational Stakes (G3) by 5 1/2 lengths June 8 at Belmont Park.
Leaving from post 3, Lewis Bay tracked the speedy Divine Miss Grey, who rattled off a quarter-mile in :22.63 and followed up with a half-mile in :45.32.
As the tightly packed field made its way around the turn, Lewis Bay cut the corner with Highway Star and Cairenn in pursuit. Lewis Bay took command through the stretch as Highway Star closed for second and Carienn settled for third.
The winning time for seven furlongs was 1:21.11 over a fast main track.
"I got a perfect trip," Ortiz said. "She broke good and got good position. I loved my post position. When I talked to (trainer) Chad (Brown) before the race, I told him I love the post because she's always breaking from the inside. She appreciated the outside post. Everything went perfect.
"I wasn't surprised to be close to the pace. We tried to take back the last couple times, and she doesn't want to do that. She really finished today. It was good."
Off the board once in 14 starts prior to the Bed o' Roses, the 5-year-old daughter of Bernardini was winless from three starts this year, finishing second behind Martini Glass in the Royal Delta Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, third in the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, and third in the May 5 Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs.
"She's had two hard races in grade 1s where she's run very credible," Brown said. "Last time at Churchill, on that sealed track, she came out of there with a quarter crack in her right front foot. I'm not saying she would've won. But it definitely was a legitimate injury coming out of there, and it took her a while to recover and get it together. We breezed her a couple of times, and she seemed to be ready to go back in the entry box. She's very fit, and she loves Belmont."
Out of the Summer Squall mare Summer Raven, Lewis Bay improved her record to six wins from 15 starts with $1,102,060 in earnings.
Brown said he would consider the Aug. 25 Ketel One Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, with a possible prep in the July 25 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2).
"She's been grade 1-placed (four) times and knocking on the door. I would love to get a grade 1 with her," Brown said.
Rounding out the field of five after three defections were Divine Miss Grey and favorite American Gal, who finished 4 3/4 lengths behind the former.
Lewis Bay returned $8.20 for a $2 win wager.