(Lake Avenue Wins G2 Demoiselle Stakes / Photo by Viola Jasko & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Godolphin homebred Lake Avenue, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, romped to a convincing four-length score in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle, a nine-furlong test for juvenile fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Demoiselle, one of four graded stakes on the Cigar Mile Day Card, offered 10-4-2-1 qualifying points towards the 2020 Kentucky Oaks to the top-four finishers.
Critical Value broke sharply to take the lead but Lake Avenue, who hopped at the start from the outermost post 10, was urged to the front through the opening turn by jockey Junior Alvarado, taking command through an opening quarter-mile in 24.70 seconds on the fast main track.
Lake Avenue maintained a clear advantage down the backstretch, marking the half-mile in 50.76 with Critical Value, last out winner of the Maid of the Mist, stalking from second with longshot Glass Ceiling in third, racing inside of Blame Debbie.
Maedean, the 5-2 mutuel favorite on the back of a decisive score in the Tempted, toiled in sixth position under Luis Saez as Lake Avenue led the field through the final turn. Critical Value angled outside of Lake Avenue late in the turn but could not threaten the leader, who spurted clear and strode home a confident winner in 1:54.55.
Maedean made a late run to complete the exacta, a neck in front of Blame Debbie. Rounding out the order of finish were Critical Value, Water White, Alandra, Glass Ceiling, Daphne Moon, Jara and Miss Marissa. Fiftyshays Ofgreen and I Dare U were scratched.
It was the third win and second stakes score on the card for Alvarado, who took the Winter Memories in Race 2 aboard Feel Glorious.
“She tried to break through the gate when they loaded, and then at the break, she hopped a little bit. It wasn’t the greatest start, but she has natural speed and Bill said to not take away anything that comes easily,” said Alvarado. “After that she recovered quickly and put herself in a good spot. I was just along for the ride after that.
“She has too much class,” continued Alvarado. “She recovered quickly. I was supposed to get out of there running. Top-three was ideal. I guess no one from the inside really wanted to go. I just kept going along with it.”
Mott was full of praise for the well-bred daughter of Tapit, who is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning dam Seventh Street.
“She has a lot of natural speed and if Junior had held her anymore, I think he would’ve had to fight with her a little bit,” said Mott. “Nobody bolted to the lead and I think we would’ve been fine if somebody opened up on us and we were laying second or third. It didn’t work out that way, and it looked like she relaxed nicely down the backside. She was hawking around through the stretch. She’s a little green, but it appeared she had a little more in the tank.”
Trainer Mark Hennig said Maedean ran well despite a difficult trip.
“I didn’t think she got the greatest trip,” said Hennig. “The first turn kind of put her in a bad spot and she was kind of stuck there while they walked the dog. We would’ve loved to see more pace, obviously. From here, she’ll be headed south.”
Lake Avenue, bred in Kentucky by her owners, improved her record to two wins and one second from three starts. She returned $10.80 for a $2 win ticket.
The Aqueduct fall meet concludes on Sunday with a 10-race card featuring the $100,000 Garland of Roses in Race 4 and the rescheduled Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight in Race 9. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.