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 offered 10-4-2-1 qualifying points towards the 2020 Kentucky Oaks to the top-four finishers.
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.
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.
“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.
Tapit stands at Gainesway for $200,000.