Godolphin’s homebred Lake Avenue, a daughter of Tapit and multiple Grade 1 winner Seventh Street, used her tactical speed to dominate her stakes debut in Saturday’s $250,000 Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct. The 4-1 co-third choice off a front-running maiden romp, the Bill Mott filly stretched clear to earn 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
The 5-2 favorite Maedean, also by Tapit, did her best work belatedly to snatch second. But the closer had the race shape against her, along with a rival of real quality taking advantage.
Hustling from a less than perfect start from post 10, Lake Avenue overtook fellow 4-1 chance Critical Value rounding the clubhouse turn through an opening quarter in :24.70. From there, jockey Junior Alvarado slowed the tempo through a half in :50.76, and Lake Avenue was on cruise control. After six furlongs in 1:15.93, she kicked away by the mile mark in 1:41.35 and held sway by four lengths in 1:54.55 for 1 1/8 miles.
Maedean, crowded a bit on the inside early, was the only late runner to work her way into the frame. The gray rallied from sixth to collar Blame Debbie with Critical Value another half-length away in fourth. Aside from completing the all-Tapit exacta, Maedean earned 4 Oaks points. The stalking Blame Debbie (2 points) and Critical Value (1 point) also put themselves on the scoreboard.
Water White got up for fifth, followed by the slight 5-2 second choice, Alandra; Glass Ceiling; Daphne Moon; Jara; and Miss Marissa who lunged at the break. Fiftyshays Ofgreen was scratched as was I Dare U, the runner-up in Friday’s off-the-turf Tepin S.
Mott commented that Lake Avenue is still learning.
“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,” the Hall of Famer said. “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 gawking around through the stretch. She’s a little green, but it appeared she had a little more in the tank.”
“She tried to break through the gate when they loaded,” Alvarado recapped, “and then at the break, she hopped a little bit. It wasn’t the greatest start, but she has natural speed and Bill 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,” her rider added. “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.”
Maedean’s trainer, Mark Hennig, explained the unfavorable circumstances.
“I didn’t think she got the greatest trip,” Hennig said. “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 sports a 3-2-1-0 mark with $191,000 in earnings. Second in her six-furlong unveiling at Belmont Park October 6, the chestnut crushed a November 14 maiden over an extra panel here by 12 3/4 lengths. Her Demoiselle performance indicates she could be joining her dam at the Grade 1 table.
Seventh Street’s signature wins came in the 2009 Apple Blossom (G1) and Go for Wand (G1), and she was also runner-up in that season’s Ogden Phipps (G1) and Ruffian (G1). The Street Cry mare has produced a Grade 1 performer already in Marking, who chased champion Runhappy home in the 2015 Malibu (G1).
Seventh Street is herself a half-sister to the grand Dubai campaigner Reynaldothewizard, hero of the 2013 Golden Shaheen (G1), as well as to Grade 2-placed American Story, dam of multiple Grade 1 vixen American Gal and Grade 2-placed stakes winner Americanize.