Lael Stables' Hawksmoor got 2019 off to a solid start with a 7-5 victory in Saturday's Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa. The 6-year-old daughter of Azamour, ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Arnaud Delacour, covered 1 1/16 miles over the firm turf in 1:40.83. In her first win since the 2017 G2 New York Stakes, Hawksmoor hit the finish line a half-length ahead of 10-1 chance Viva Vegas.
“The plan was to be close to the lead and then she was at the back, but that's why (Javier Castellano) is in the Hall of Fame – his ability to adapt to the situation,” said Delacour. “That's the first time for us that she has come closing. Usually she is not a closer and she doesn't like to be between horses, but it worked out. The (Grade II Hillsborough, on March 9) is possible; we'll see how she comes out of this race.”
Bred in Ireland by Tenuta Genzianella, Hawksmoor was a $102,792 yearling at Tattersalls. She began her career in Europe, scoring victories in a G3 and G2 Stakes and a G1 placing. In late 2016, Hawksmoor came to the United States to finish third in the Grade 1 QE II Stakes at Keeneland, and she finished second in a string of G1 races in 2017. Her 2018 campaign wasn't as strong, but the Endeavour win brings her record to 6-5-5 from 23 starts with earnings of over $1.1 million.
“We had a plan, and to be honest, I was thinking there was not going to be much speed in the race,” Castellano said. “Maybe one or two horses, or maybe Arnaud's other horse (Bombshell). So we tried to play the game where whoever got the jump, we were going to sit off the pace, but if no one wanted it, I was going to go to the lead. Well, you know horse racing, you open the gate – BRRNNG – and she missed the break. I didn't want to get too far back, but I liked the way she was doing it. She rolled out beautiful behind horses, and I liked the way she exploded down the lane. She hadn't raced since October and I was afraid to ask her too much early and get flat. I think Arnaud did a good job bringing her up to the race fresh and having her ready to win.”
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