TAPIT’s Lake Avenue Runs Away With Heavenly Prize

For a second straight weekend, TAPIT‘s progeny tallied stakes wins when his Grade 2 winner Lake Avenue won the Heavenly Prize Invitational to stay undefeated in 2021.

Returning to the track where she won the 2019 Demoiselle Stakes (G2) as a 2-year-old, Lake Avenue was ready to go in the one mile dirt race.

Breaking from the widest post, the Godolphin homebred entered the main track a few paths wide as she sat in fourth a few lengths off the leader. Manny Franco kept his mount in that position until the turn when her clear path let her coast up to challenge for the lead.

That challenge didn’t last long with Lake Avenue letting Franco enjoy the ride as she pulled away to win by an easy 6 ¾ lengths as the heavy favorite.

“[Her connections] left it up to me and I think she’s a different filly right now,” said Franco. “She grew up and Mott is doing a great job with his horses. She is just very kind right now. I put her wherever she wants. I broke well and was able to rate her a little bit because I knew the pace was quick in front of me.”

Trained by Bill Mott, she is also the second stakes winner in two weeks for her sire out of a Street Cry mare alongside Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Greatest Honour.

A Godolphin homebred just like Tapit’s Champion 2-Year-Old Colt and last weekend’s Southwest Stakes (G3) winner Essential Quality, Lake Avenue is a half-sister to Grade 1-placed Marking and out of dual Grade 1 winner Seventh Street.

The pedigree only gets better from there with Seventh Street a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Reynaldothewizard, and to the dam of Grade I winner American Gal with the family also including last year’s Horse of the Year Authentic.

It has been another excellent year for Tapit with his 10 stakes horses and three stakes winners, including Kentucky Derby favorites Essential Quality and Greatest Honour, plus the multiple graded stakes-placed Derby hopeful Proxy.