Godolphin homebred Lake Avenue broke her maiden at second asking last month at the Big A, and the 2-year-old daughter of Tapit continued that trend with a four-length score in Saturday's Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes. Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Junior Alvarado, the 4-1 chance ran nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1:54.55.
The victory earns Lake Avenue 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, and was also the third of the day for Alvarado.
“We thought this would be the logical start for her today to see how she would get along going nine furlongs, and then that would give us some indication on where she wants to go next year,” Mott said. “She'll go to Florida from here. We haven't talked to the ownership group yet, but I'd say she'd go to Payson Park and have a working vacation from there. There's no need to stop on her completely. But she'll get a little bit of a break, she's had three races now.”
Critical Value broke on top of the field of 10 juvenile fillies, but Alvarado allowed Lake Avenue to cruise up the outside and take command in the first quarter mile. She marked off fractions of :24.70 and :50.76 while two lengths clear of Critical Value. The 5-2 favorite Maedean awaited racing room in fifth early on.
Lake Avenue was still ahead of Critical Value by 1 1/2 lengths into the far turn, and she responded willingly when Alvarado asked for run at the quarter pole. Through the stretch Lake Avenue continued to draw clear of her rivals, and she crossed the wire four lengths in front of the belated bid from Maedean, who had to settle for second. Blame Debbie finished third, while Critical Value was fourth.
“She tried to break through the gate when they loaded, and then at the break, she hopped a little bit,” relayed Alvardo. “It wasn't the greatest start, but she has natural speed and Bill [Mott] said to not take away anything that comes easily. 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. 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.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Lake Avenue is out of of the two-time Grade 1 winner Seventh Street, by Street Sense. Godolphin purchased the mare for $1 million at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-old in training sale, and raced her to five wins in a 10-race career. Lake Avenue is a half-sister to the Grade 1-placed Marking (Bernardini).
The filly, her dam's fifth foal, was beaten a length when second on debut but won at second asking by 12 3/4 lengths. Now with two wins from three career starts, Lake Avenue's earnings stand at nearly $200,000.
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