November 27, 2021

Lewis Bay romps in Bed o’ Roses

Lewis Bay, with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, wins the Bed o' Roses Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park on Friday, June 8, 2018 (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com

by Teresa Genaro

The last time Lewis Bay met American Gal was in the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs. The track was wet-fast, the pace was quick, and Lewis Bay was bumped at the start and finished third by five lengths.

On Friday at Belmont Park in the Bed o’ Roses (G3), the track was fast, the pace was quick, and Lewis Bay bobbled at the break. However, this time around, Lewis Bay overcame the start sat just off pacesetter Divine Miss Grey and took the lead with ease in the lane. When she hit the wire first under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., she became a millionaire.

Romping by 5 1/2 lengths, Lewis Bay was followed past the line by multiple Grade 2 winner Highway Star, who finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of longshot Cairenn. Divine Miss Grey faded to fourth and American Gal finished fifth, never a factor in a field reduced to five by the scratches of Chalon, Ivy Bell and Union Strike.

“I’m very excited,” said owner Jon Clay, who races and breeds in the name of Alpha Delta Stables. “This sort of felt like a replay of the Humana Distaff until Ivy Bell (second in that race) scratched to run tomorrow.”

Trained by Chad Brown, Lewis Bay has a record of 6-5-3 from 14 starts, and the Bed o’ Roses brought her number of graded wins to five. The consistent five-year-old mare has now banked $1,102,000.

By Bernardini, Lewis Bay is out of the Grade 3-winning Summer Squall mare Summer Raven, who was purchased by Reynolds Bell, agent, for Clay in 2009 for $1.7 million.  Lewis Bay is a half-sister to Grade 3 scorers Misconnect and Winslow Homer.

“I think Bernardini does well with Summer Squall mares,” Clay said. “That’s the thing we looked at. She has a full sister born this year, and I’m looking forward to raising her. Hopefully she’s a fraction of what her sister is.”

Lewis Bay was raised at Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. Clay led the mare into the winner’s circle accompanied by Headley Bell, Mill Ridge’s managing partner, and Bell’s son Price Jr. of Nicoma Bloodstock.

Lewis Bay will eventually join Clay’s broodmare band, but she’s got at least a few races left, with the August 25 Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga the next target and, if all goes well, the Breeders’ Cup in November at Churchill Downs.

“It was good to go against American Gal and other talented fillies,” Clay said. “I’m glad to get her back in the winner’s circle. To win a graded stakes race at Belmont is great, and I’m really happy.”