September 26, 2023

Newgate keeps advancing, notches first stakes win in Robert B. Lewis

Newgate and jockey Lanfranco Dettori (outside) win the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Photo by Benoit Photo)

A change in tactics is reaping dividends for Newgate, who rallied last-to-first to record his first stakes win in Saturday’s $196,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita. He refused to settle dropping a trio of juvenile stakes appearances, but Newgate displayed newfound tractability recording a neck second in the Jan. 8 Sham (G3) and continued to move forward in the Lewis.

Frankie Dettori has taken over the reins in both sophomore starts for Bob Baffert, who was responsible for all four starters, and the 1 1/16-mile Lewis did not award any Kentucky Derby qualifying points due to Churchill Downs Inc.’s suspension of the trainer.

Baffert extended his record with an 11th Lewis victory, including five straight.

Arabian Lion, the 2-1 second choice, set the pace in :23.87, :47.76, and 1:11.98 while being chased by Hard to Figure, who surged to a short lead entering the stretch. Newgate launched his bid nearing the conclusion of the far turn and overhauled Hard to Figure inside the final sixteenth of a mile to prove best.

It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Worcester, who wound up more than three lengths better than Arabian Lion.

Off as the even-money favorite, Newgate stopped the teletimer in 1:43.11. He’s campaigned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan.

By two-time Kentucky Derby-winning sire Into Mischief, Newgate is out of the Grade 3-placed Majestic Warrior mare Majestic Presence. The bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Town & Country Horse Farms, and Newgate sold for $850,000 as a 2021 Keeneland September yearling. A debut maiden winner, Newgate was unplaced in his first two stakes attempts, the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and Breeders’ Futurity (G1), before recording a non-threatening second in the Bob Hope (G3).

He’s improved as a three-year-old, and Newgate will look to show more at longer distances in the coming months.