11/28/2015 2:44PM

Lewis Bay wins slow running of Demoiselle

R.L. Thibodeau
Lewis Bay (No. 2) and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. win the Grade 3 Demoiselle Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Though it won’t get high marks aesthetically or on the clock, Lewis Bay passed her stakes and two-turn debut with a 1 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct.

Rallying four to five wide under Irad Ortiz Jr., then drifting out a path or two farther in upper stretch and again in deep stretch, Lewis Bay proved too much for her six rivals.

Thrilled, making her dirt debut after racing four times on turf, finished second by a length over 42-1 longshot Disco Rose. Flora Dora, Lost Raven, Invite, and Mo d’Amour completed the order of finish.

The final time of 1:53.41 for 1 1/8 miles was the slowest Demoiselle since Clark Street won it in 1:53.98 in 1997. It equals the fourth-slowest clocking of 41 Demoiselles at 1 1/8 miles.

But Lewis Bay was a bit immature in the race, according to Ortiz, changing leads a bit late and seemingly waiting on horses to come to her late.

“She didn’t show everything she had today because she’s a little green,” winning trainer Chad Brown said. “If she feels somebody beside her, she’s going to pick it up. I think she was waiting on horses.”

Lewis Bay, a daughter of Bernardini owned and bred by Jon Clay’s Alpha Delta Stables, was tucked away inside down the backstretch as Lost Raven set modest fractions of 24.57 seconds for the quarter and 50.04 for the opening half-mile.

Entering the far turn, Ortiz had to ease Lewis Bay back and then go four wide at the three-eighths pole to gain on the leaders.

Ortiz swung her five wide in the stretch, and when Ortiz got into her, she straightened out and took over from Thrilled at the eighth pole and went on to victory.

Sent off as the even-money favorite, Lewis Bay returned $4.10.

Brown said he was pleased overall with the race and believes there is room for improvement as Lewis Bay moves into her 3-year-old season.

“She motored home pretty good. The last eighth of a mile, he said she lost focus with no horses around her, way out in the center of the track and no target in front of her, and was a bit green switching in her leads because he said she was just being lonely out there,” Brown said. “We’ll enjoy this win and take her south and work backwards from the Kentucky Oaks.”

The Demoiselle victory earned Lewis Bay 10 qualifying points to the Oaks on May 6 at Churchill Downs.